This is my personal rationale trying to break down why Duck Dynasty hit 11.8M viewers and Breaking Bad didn’t.
For those who haven’t heard, Louisiana’s “Duck Dynasty” family set another cable-TV ratings record with Wednesday’s premiere of season 4 on A&E. A record 11.8 million viewers tuned in, making it the most watched non-fiction series in cable history.
“Breaking Bad” did great for AMC. Last Sunday they kicked off the final eight episodes which drew 5.9 million viewers, more than double the number who watched the opening episode last summer.
Being a fan of both of these shows I was actually very surprised by the numbers they both pulled. I was floored that comparatively Duck Dynasty was so high and that Breaking Bad was so low.
Breaking Bad v. Duck Dynasty
In my mind I see both shows as top contenders for the most popular currently running TV programs. I love me some Si Robertson “hey” and some Jesse Pinkman “b****”.
But why didn’t Breaking Bad keep up?
Sunday’s episode of Breaking Bad was all anyone was talking about for the past few weeks. I swear every morning show, late-night show, the Internet, and even my social circles were anticipating episode 9 of season 5. Twitter near blew up during the super intense final scene. People like Rihanna were the ones tweeting about it.
But again, why didn’t Breaking Bad keep up?
Both shows have equally impressive Facebook Pages. Duck Dynasty has 5,445,774 likes with Breaking Bad close behind with 5,089,881. If the Facebook Fan Page and Twitter followers race is neck and neck then why isn’t Breaking Bad up in the 11 Million viewer range like Duck Dynasty?
It comes down to one piece of modern day technology. Bit Torrents.
Figures collected by tech blog TorrentFreak indicate that plenty of viewers downloaded the Breaking Bad episode via torrent sites instead. The site claims that 80,000 people were sharing the episode within hours of it appearing online, and that torrented downloads had topped half a million within 12 hours.
That my friends is only counting downloads. Let alone how many viewers were watching each played copy or how many times each download was given to friends or family. I know every time I watch an episode of either show I wait for those I watch with to come over, pop some jiffy, and mold our butts to the couch. It’s a majestic time.
It’s also unknown how many people watched Breaking Bad on unlicensed streaming sites, which have become an increasingly high-profile headache for TV channels like AMC or A&E.
Duck Dynasty’s season premiere had less than 10% the illegal downloads that Breaking Bad’s received. The famous bittorrent site Pirate Bay can prove it. The most downloaded Duck Dynasty season 4 premiere torrent was downloaded 636 times. The most downloaded Breaking Bad season premiere torrent was downloaded 23,643 times and counting.
We have to take in account the type of viewers that each show is attracting.
Breaking Bad is a drama, about drugs, murder, and the DEA. Duck Dynasty is about duck calls, family life, and Si Robertson. You only need common sense to see that Breaking Bad is like a bone in front of a dog’s face to the hacker community. It is boils down to a stereotype that the type of person that illegally downloads is more likely to watch Breaking Bad.
This was unthinkable half a decade ago, but piracy is still far from defeated. Good or bad thing? Let me know in the comments below.
Duck Dynasty didn’t get the views because it is a better show.
If you ask me, Breaking Bad is more popular than Duck Dynasty. The only thing is that the numbers don’t show it. Tough break AMC. If it weren’t for illegal downloads, Breaking Bad would have been right up there with 11.8 Million viewers for it’s season premiere.
That being said, I don’t miss one episode of Duck Dynasty either.