Scott D. Pierce: 'Duck Dynasty' No. 1 VOD show in Utah

Published September 6, 2013 3:38 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Duck Dynasty" is a crazy reality show about Louisiana rednecks who got rich by manufacturing duck calls and now do funny, rednecky things.

It is also the most popular show in Utah, at least when it comes to Comcast/Xfinity's video-on-demand service.


I could have guessed all day and not guessed that.

Here are the top five shows Utah Comcast customers have watched on-demand this year:

1. "Duck Dynasty" (A&E)

2. "Family Guy" (Fox)

3. "Downton Abbey" (PBS)

4. "Walking Dead" (AMC)

5. "Big Bang Theory" (CBS)

And here are Comcast's most-watched VOD shows nationally:

1. "Family Guy" (Fox)

2. "Bad Girls Club" (Oxygen)

3. "Downton Abbey" (PBS)

4. "Walking Dead" (AMC)

5. "America's Got Talent" (NBC)

At least "Bad Girls Club" isn't in our top five.

According to Maggie McLean Suniewick, vice president of programming for Comcast Cable, " 'Duck Dynasty' does incredibly well in the South, but I'm sort of surprised it does so well in Utah."

Maggie and me both.

It's not just a local phenomenon, however. When Comcast VOD did a weeklong watch-a-thon in March, "Duck Dynasty" was No. 3 nationally.

"I was very surprised," Suniewick said with a laugh. "I'm, like — we're giving you 'Game of Thrones' for free? We're giving you 'Homeland' for free? And you're watching 'Duck Dynasty'?"

Here are some other numbers from Comcast:

• 40 percent of VOD viewing is of TV shows — as opposed to films, short videos, etc.

• 88 percent of TV viewing remains linear (regularly scheduled TV shows); 12 percent is on-demand, DVR or on-line streaming.

• Comcast VOD is available in 20 million homes; 70 percent of those use it regularly.

• There are 400 million VOD viewings a month on Comcast; 30 billion since the service launched a decade ago.

Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 10, Comcast is rolling out its Fall TV Fest, which will offer subscribers a chance to catch up on episodes of returning series and preview new ones — including full pilots of some.

On Tuesday, you can see for yourself that "Ironside" (debuts Oct. 2 on NBC) is awful and "Trophy Wife" (debuts Sept. 24 on ABC) is surprisingly good.

And the networks are hoping the early exposure will boost their ratings. Which has happened with shows like A&E's "Bates Motel" (42 percent higher in Comcast households than the national average) and SyFy's "Defiance" (70 percent higher).

"It's really a win-win for everybody," Suniewick said.

Everbody including "Duck Dynasty." Who would've thought?

Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at spierce@sltrib.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.



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