‘O’Reilly Factor’ Ratings Soar on Fox News as Controversy Flares

The Oreilly Factor Ratings
Courtesy of Fox News

Bill O’Reilly is having a difficult week, but he certainly isn’t alone while he moves through it.

More than 3.76 million people tuned in to Tuesday night’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” an increase of 20% from the same day’s telecast last week, according to data from Nielsen Media Research, despite a very public backlash to a Saturday New York Times report  that five women had received payments coming to about $13 million in exchange for agreeing not to pursue litigation or speak about accusations related to sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior by  O’Reilly, the veteran Fox News broadcaster who is the linchpin of the network’s primetime lineup. O’Reilly in a statement said his fame had made him a target, but that no complaint about him had ever been made through Fox’s human-resources hotline.

 His “Factor” broadcast last night captured an average of 628,000 viewers between the ages of 25 and 54, an increase of 11% from last week’s Tuesday-night audience.  What’s more, his show won more viewers overall than either ABC’s “Imaginary Mary” or NBC’s “Trial and Error.”

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Donald Trump Bill O'Reilly

The Dichotomy of Fox News: Ratings Soar Along With Scandals, Settlements

The robust viewership shows the tough road Fox News is walking along these days. Even as its programs attract a robust and passionate audience, it is making headlines of its own as a series of lawsuits being made public reveal a disturbing internal culture. In recent days, suits have been filed accusing a former Fox comptroller of racist behavior and former Fox News chief Roger Ailes of sexually harassing a current Fox News contributor. Ailes has denied the charges.

The controversy is, no doubt, fueling some portion of the viewership. Some viewers are no doubt tuning in to see if the anchor will address his current situation. He has not so far this week in two broadcasts Monday and Tuesday.

A large number of advertisers have announced their decision to suspend their ties with “The O’Reilly Factor,” but the anchor’s audience, it seems, has not. According to Nielsen, the show was the most-watched cable-news program Tuesday among total viewers and the 25-54 demographic.

Advertisers including Jenny Craig, GlaxoSmithKline, Mitsubishi Motors, BMW and Ainsworth Pet Nutrition have all moved ads slated to run during “Factor” to other Fox News programs. One media buyer suggested marketers will have a hard time abandoning the program because of its strong, steady ratings performance.

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  1. Guest says:

    This almost makes up for the advertisers not lifting a finger when O’Reilly’s aide went to Chinatown, NY to mock its residents late last year.

    Better late than never.

  2. Since nothing has been proven re Bill O’Reilly and until it has, I will have to assume the boycott by advertisers is political in nature. Accordingly, I believe a reverse boycott against these advertisers is in order. I am writing all the companies currently boycotting Bill O’Reilly and letting them know I (and hopefully many others) will be no longer using their products.

    • Wait, so you’re telling me that FOX shoveled out millions of dollars because of unfounded claims? This entire ordeal as been documented IN COURT, so what are you taking about? Also, of course pulling advertisements is political. Their name and company brand is on the line. You’re making it out to be something malicious. These companies aren’t “boycotting” Bill O’Reilly. They’re making a “free market” decision not to use Bill O’Reilly as a conduit to push their brand. You’re “reverse boycott” suggestion doesn’t apply.

  3. People are watching Bill O’Reilly for the same reason they stop to watch a train wreck. You know you should not stop and watch, but the disaster is so big, you can’t stop! And it doesn’t surprise me that Donald Trump supports him, because that is exactly what I would expect from President Pussygrabber!

  4. Richard Colbert says:

    People are watching O’Reilly now because they want to see what a hypocritical sexual predator looks like in the flesh.

  5. Helen Williams says:

    Really, These women are something else !! They sure as hell take the Money !! Don’t they !!! What ever Bill does in his private life , that go’s for anyone !! It’s their Business !! Not no one else’s !! Besides these women , they know exactly what their doing !! Their not little kids !! Come on now !! Who really cares !! No one !!!

    • I care, and these women were not the predators, Bill O’Reilly was, and he, if he had any decency, would have kept his sweaty little hands, and whatever, to himself. Don’t you dare pretend that this was consensual, he preyed upon them, and creeps like him will keep on doing this, until they get punished, most of the time were it really hurts them, in their pocketbook. Because the don’t care about anything else but money. Defenetely not about decency, and proper behaviour, and defenetely not about the feelings and the trauma of their victims!

  6. Sarcastically blowing a woman a kiss is not sexual harassment. Fox News needs to stop settling these lawsuits or they are going to continue to happen. It’s easy money, and these women that get disciplined, or their hours cut are using sexual harassment as leverage. Challenge them in court and you’ll see it stop happening.

  7. Dunstan says:

    Total sub-human slug.

  8. commieliberal says:

    All those viewers were expecting him to cover this story, but… crickets.

  9. Lisa says:

    I don’t want to disparage the US too much. But what do you expect when guys are raised not respecting girls? There seems to be a disconnect at around age 7 or 8 and males aren’t ‘allowed’ to hang out with girls. Later, in high school, these same guys are emotionally retarded. Females are strangers to them and these guys have missed an entire time period where they could actually get to know girls and thus not see them as objects later. The whole idea of a boy’s team and a girl’s team is ludicrous. There are many very strong girls out there who could beat most guy’s butts. Putting them on a team would do both sexes a lot of good.
    Seeing women as objects is a scary and damaging problem we have in our society. Imagine Trump going around grabbing men’s crotches? Doesn’t that sound absolutely insane to you? Well, it’s just as insane for him to assault women that way.

  10. Cass says:

    Everyone loves watching a crash.

    • Lisa Trump was never accused of grabbing anyone’s crotches. I think you’re talking about Bill Clinton, and his enabler Hillary Clinton who thought physically assaulting, and raping women was a birthright.

      • Justin Jenkins, Trump bragged about grabbing womens “pussy” because he was a star, and could get away with it. We saw, and heard it all, coming out of his own mouth. Do you suffer from convenient memory loss, or are you just stupid?

    • Lisa says:

      Not when people die in it.

  11. HeKnows says:

    Listen to The Truth. That post is absolutely true. Bill is a terrifying guy and Fox supports his terrible behavior.

  12. The Truth says:

    Perhaps Bill’s audience would like to hear about how he used his influence to launch a nuisance internal affairs investigation against his ex-wife’s police detective boyfriend after she filed for divorce. Or how he choked his wife and dragged her down the stairs in front of his teenage daughter. He tried unsuccessfully to have the court records about these incidents sealed, claiming it would cause “undue emotional distress for his children.” This is the same self-serving spin he’s used to explain why he (and Fox) settled five sexual harassment suits against him. No Spin Zone my ass.

  13. EK says:

    People tuning in for a hoped-for crash-and-burn moment (which they’re not gonna get) or some form of mia culpa (which they will also not get). Fox legal department has him muzzled for now at least. With POTUS weighing in now anything is possible. Once this all in his rearview mirror, he will settle back down to a slightly lower audience. If Fox is forced by public opinion or some legal maneuver to suspend him (or worse) that will make it even more exposed than it already is and advertisers who are abandoning bloviating Bill may eventually bail on Fox News altogether. Or it will all just fade away. It isn’t new news after all, just more detailed.

  14. Bob Rose says:

    To Bill O’Reilly Even I could hold a better position on some of your programs on Fox News! Your FIVE holds a program that has comments that really are a lot like high school children disputing on all topics that makes one think, this program is for juvenile people like Greg! Silly comments- disputes on air, and really no teeth in their presentations! After having been on TV before, its too bad I live in Idaho- too far for me to really comment on your supposed programming needs; its a good thing I don’t live there.

  15. vet says:

    maybe the headline should read, BECAUSE OF CONTROVERSY…

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