After more than 60 companies pulled their advertising from Fox New Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" after revelations of a massive sexual harassment payout, many thought it was the beginning of the end for Fox News' biggest star. The latest ratings, however, indicate just the opposite.

According to Nielsen, Bill O'Reilly's show averaged 3.7 million viewers last week, including 652,000 average viewers in the coveted 25-54 demographic. When compared against the same ratings period in 2016, this translates into a 28 percent increase in overall viewership and a 42 percent increase in the key demographic that advertisers covet most.

Meanwhile, MSNBC's top-ranked news commentary program, "The Rachel Maddow Show," came in a distant ninth in the Nielsen ratings.

In fact, Maddow's show was the only non-Fox cable news personality to crack the top ten. Sean Hannity, Bret Baier, Tucker Carlson and Fox News' midday ensemble program, "The Five," also beat out Maddow.

Major advertisers flee in droves

The advertisers who abandoned O'Reilly over the sexual harassment allegations include Allstate, Bayer, BMW, Credit Karma, H&R Block, Jenny Craig, LegalZoom , Mitsubishi, Orkin and Stanley Steemer.

This rating period reflects the show's viewership in the days immediately after news of the sexual harassment payouts broke. On April 1, The New York Times reported that five women had received payouts from Fox News after they came forward with sexual harassment claims against O'Reilly.

Maxine Waters says O'Reilly needs to go to jail

Even though California Democrat Maxine Waters called for O'Reilly to "go to jail" over the allegations during a recent MSNBC interview with Chris Hayes, the settlements are in no way an admission of guilt or wrongdoing. It is not uncommon for companies to settle sexual harassment claims out of court -- even when the claims have little merit -- in order to prevent long, costly trials and a deluge of bad publicity.

Or course, the reason behind O'Reilly's rating surge is open to debate. Fans of Fox News would argue that the ratings spike signifies a show of solidarity with the beloved conservative commentator. Others could argue that liberal and Democrat viewers, who would normally choose not to watch the show, tuned in to see if, how, and when the host would make a statement regarding the lurid claims made against him.

At any rate, one thing viewers from all sides of the political spectrum can agree upon is that watching "The O'Reilly Factor" is infinitely more enjoyable without all of those annoying Credit Karma commercials.

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