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The best way to describe the 2015 Smackdown campaign Thursday nights on Syfy was a a bridge from Friday nights in 2014 to USA Network in 2016.
Otherwise, it was a poor year for Smackdown, following the lead of Raw, which dipped double-digit percentages across the board.
Smackdown experienced a similar decline in TV ratings and viewership after establishing a presence Friday nights on Syfy. WWE tried to prop up Smackdown by moving to the more-desired Thursday night timeslot in 2015, but without wholesale changes to the format of Smackdown or increased marketing effort to stand out from three-hour Raws, the move did not pan out.
Smackdown averaged a 1.70 first-run TV rating on Friday nights in 2015, down two-tenths of a rating (10.5 percent) from a 1.90 average rating on Thursday nights in 2014.
The drop-off was almost identical to a 10.5 percent decline for Raw in 2015.
Smackdown averaged 2.361 million viewers on Friday nights in 2015, down 300,000 viewers (11.4 percent) from the average viewership on Thursday nights in 2014.
2015 WWE Smackdown Break Down
– Highs: 2.06 rating (January 29 for a live Smackdown); 1.97 rating on Jan. 22 for a non-live Smackdown
– Lows: 1.15 rating (Nov. 26 on Thanksgiving and Dec. 31 on New Year’s Eve); 1.42 rating on September 3 (Labor Day Weekend); 1.49 rating on Sept. 17 for a non-holiday Smackdown.
– Final Avg. Rating: 1.70 (down 10.5 percent vs. 2014 on Friday nights)
– Final Avg. Viewership: 2.361 million viewers (down 11.4 percent from 2014 on Friday nights)
– Fall TV Averages: 1.53 rating and 2.112 million viewers (down from a 1.71 rating and 2.373 million viewers from Fall 2014 on Friday nights).
2015 SD vs. Five Year Break Down on Friday Nights
– 2015: 1.70 rating / 2.361 million viewers (Thursdays)
– 2014: 1.90 rating / 2.667 million viewers
– 2013: 1.92 rating / 2.670 million viewers
– 2012: 1.89 rating / 2.758 million viewers (the year was broken up by three live specials on Syfy and one live special on USA)
– 2011: 1.92 rating / 2.901 million viewers
– 2010: Smackdown moved from MyNetworkTV to Syfy in Fall 2010. The 14-week intro, which coincidentally included a New Year’s Eve rating like in 2015, was a 1.69 rating and 2.582 million viewers. The ratings of 2015 and Fall 2010 were nearly identical.