Although AMC's The Walking Dead still commands a strong viewership, the show has seen its ratings decrease this season. In fact, Season 8 saw the show sink to a 6-year low, with the premiere and mid-season finale drawing in markedly fewer viewers than last season.
Skybound Entertainment CEO and Walking Dead Executive Producer David Alpert is now responding to the decrease in viewership, identifying the metrics that measure viewership as flawed.
"I don't think in any way the brand has lost its relevance in general," Alpert told Variety. "I think we're just seeing a decline in urgency across all media to consume something at a specific time."
The Walking Dead was recently identified as one of the most pirated TV shows, which would certainly affects its ratings. The increasing prevalence of PVR and streaming technology has also led to a general downturn in the number of viewers watching TV live.
The steady decline in ratings has led some to question why The Walking Dead hasn't yet been renewed for a ninth season. The show's eighth season was renewed just prior to Season 7's premiere. No such announcement about Season 9 has been made by AMC at this point.
The Walking Dead returns Feb. 25 at 9 p.m. on AMC. The show stars Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Danai Gurira as Michonne, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Lennie James as Morgan Jones, Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler, Josh McDermitt as Eugene Porter, Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan.