The Jan. 8 episode of WWE Smackdown Live on USA Network drew a 1.41 rating, down from last week’s 1.44 which was likely buoyed by the advertised return of John Cena. This week’s rating is actually below the eight week average before the holiday pre-taped episodes of 1.52. It’s a big drop from the same week one year ago (1.76) and two years ago (1.79).
Smackdown finished no. 4 overall for the night in cable ratings among 18-49 year olds with a 0.7 demo rating, according to TV By the Numbers. It would have landed at no. 2 behind “Curse of Oak Island” on History Channel if not for Fox News and CNN topping cable ratings at the 9 p.m. ET hour for the airing of President Trump’s address to the nation from the Oval Office and the Democratic response. Smackdown finished no. 10 in total viewership for the night, accounting for younger and older viewers outside of the 18-49 demographic.
Listen to the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show breaking down this edition of WWE Smackdown along with a big dose of AEW Rally talk with on-site correspondents in Jacksonville for both Smackdown and the AEW Rally, live calls, mailbag, and discussion with Keller and his cohost PWTorch columnist Greg Parks.
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This week’s overall 1.41 rating is the second lowest non-holiday rating ever for the program, with only the Dec. 4, 2018 episode coming in lower at a 1.39.
Last year, the Jan. 9 episode drew a 1.76, which was below the average of the previous eight non-holiday editions which averaged 1.82. So this year’s drop-off to star the year is 0.11 compared to last year’s drop-off of just 0.6, so roughly double the drop-off.