Oddly, the Daily Mail appears to be getting most of the scoops when it comes to the continuing saga of Phil Robertson and A&E. Here is their latest report:
Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson may have emerged victorious from his recent spat with A&E, but the millionaire patriarch is already plotting revenge on the TV network behind his hit show and reportedly has a plan in the works to move his family – plus millions of dollars of advertising and merchandise revenue – to another broadcaster.
Humiliated by A&E’s recent attempt to silence his conservative religious message, Robertson … is secretly plotting to form his own TV production company so he can jump ship to a Christian channel more in keeping with his views …
The Season 4 premiere of Duck Dynasty last August drew a record 11.8 million viewers and total revenues for 2013 are estimated at $885 million.
The public support for Pat’s comments have convinced the wily businessman that he and his family could be better served elsewhere on a network more understanding of his views – such as overtly religious TV networks Trinity Broadcast Corporation and Christian Television Network.
Right Scoop casts doubt on this story by noting that the original source may have been the National Enquirer. However, more often than not when it comes to this sort of thing, the National Enquirer is right on the money (they broke the story of John Edward’s baby, if I recall). They tend to be more careful about sourcing their stories than other outlets because of threats of lawsuits.
All in all, this would be the most logical move for the Robertsons. Their company is worth millions, and if reports are true they received $400 million last year from licensing alone. It is hard to see how they need A&E in any way, and A&E now appears to be a hindrance to them. I expect them to jump ship as soon as they can figure out how.