Even as advertisers bail out on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” following news that host Bill O’Reilly had paid millions to settle claims of sexual harassment, O’Reilly’s viewers appear to be standing behind the opinionated host.
The show averaged 3.71 million viewers over five nights last week, according to Nielsen figures — up 12% from 3.31 million the previous week and up 28% over the same week a year ago, the AP reports.
“O’Reilly’s show averaged just under 4 million viewers for the first three months of 2017, his biggest quarter ever in the show’s 20-year history,” the report notes.
The number of advertisers pulling their spots from the show has reportedly climbed to about 60. O’Reilly has denied wrongdoing, the report notes.
“It has left his show with a more unusual array of commercials than you’d typically see for a popular program — like Monday night’s ad for a device that clears ear wax,” the AP adds.
The report quotes Marc Berman, editor in chief of The Programming Insider, commenting: “Controversy is a breeding ground for interest. So people who otherwise might not have seen his show recently are curious. People might want to see if he addresses the subject.”