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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Week 3 of the Smackdown Live era tumbled against the Olympics, similar to Monday’s Raw.
WWE Smackdown TV Ratings Tracking
August 9: WWE Smackdown scored a 1.69 TV rating, down nine percent from last week’s 1.86 rating.
Smackdown drew 2.455 million viewers, down 8.4 percent (about 226,000 viewers) from last week’s audience.
– DEMOGRAPHICS: Smackdown was down about one-tenth of a rating in adults 18-49 and males 18-49.
Males 18-34 was down less than one-tenth as the only demo to be consistent over the first three weeks of the “new era” for Smackdown.
Caldwell’s Analysis: Smackdown has one more week against the Olympics next Tuesday for the pre-Summerslam episode, then WWE really needs to find an identity for Smackdown Live after Summerslam. Not having John Cena and A.J. Styles available this week hurt the show’s star power, but it’s more about Smackdown not getting much of a boost from a production and presentation standpoint with the “cool ideas” going to Raw. Too much of Smackdown Live feels like the skippable, “old era” Smackdown.
The 1.69 rating itself is in-between the First Quarter and Second Quarter average of taped Thursday night shows. The Olympics hurt this week, and probably will hurt next week, so they really have to hit another reset after Summerslam with a new approach to Smackdown to differentiate it from Raw that they keep talking about, or they risk losing the audience for the competitive Fall TV season.
WWE Smackdown Viewership - Brand Split Era (July 26, 2016 Onward)
|1 - 7/26||1.92||2,743,000||293,000||3,036,000
|2 - 8/2||1.86||2,681,000 (-)||275,000 (-)||2,956,000
|3 - 8/9||1.69||2,455,000 (-)||336,000 (+)|
(#2 - 2016)
|4 - 8/16||1.72||2,471,000 (+)||265,000 (-)||2,736,000
|5 - 8/23|
|1.92||2,714,000 (+)||339,000 (+)||3,053,000
|6 - 8/30||1.95|
|2,835,000 (+)||318,000 (-)||3,153,000
|7 - 9/6|
L. Day Week
|1.76||2,454,000 (-)||312,000 (-)||2,766,000
|8 - 9/13|
|1.86||2,658,000 (+)||336,000 (+)||2,994,000
|9 - 9/20||1.70||2,292,000 (-)||299,000 (-)||2,591,000
Raw was cool for the first episode, but that has not been the case since. On the other hand, while Smackdown does not have the depth or the star power, the show has been consistent, and has been telling several interesting stories. That’s probably why the show is holding on to so many of its male 18 to 34 year old audience.
Raw feels like nothing has changed. Aside from a few visual differences (camera angles, announcers near the stage), the show’s flow and quality feels identical to pre-new era. It’s boring, the segments are too long, the feuds are stale, etc. I actually feel SD! has been superior the last few weeks.