Despite its host being embroiled in controversy, the Fox News program The O’Reilly Factor saw a sharp jump in ratings with an increase of 20 percent in one week. The show had 3.76 million viewers on Tuesday.
The latest broadcast had an average of 628,000 viewers between the ages of 25 and 54, an increase of 11 percent from last week’s audience. That makes the show the most-watched cable-news program on Tuesdays in the coveted 25-54 demographic.
Tuesday night’s O’Reilly Factor also pulled off a rare upset, as the cable program beat out broadcast television networks ABC and NBC in the same time slot.
The high increase in ratings comes despite a report from the New York Times that five women have accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment. According to the report, the women have received $13 million dollars over the past three years in settlement payments.
Nearly 50 advertisers have pulled their advertisements from highly rated programs since the report.
Mercedes Benz USA, BMW of North America, Jenny Craig, Bayer, Constant Contact and Allstate Insurance are just a few of the national advertisers that have pulled their commercials.
Rep. Maxine Watters, R.-Calif. has also been in a war of words with O’Reilly.
Watters called Fox News a “Sexual Harassment Enterprise,” that has treated women badly and said she supports a criminal investigation.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 6, 2017
President Donald Trump has shown support for O’Reilly. “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong,” Trump told the Times Wednesday. “I don’t think he should have settled.”
O’Reilly has also defended himself against the allegations.
“Just like other prominent and controversial people, I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity. In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline,” O’Reilly said in a statement.
O’Reilly Factor has been one of Fox News Channel’s top rated show for the past 15 years.