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Last night’s episode of WWE Smackdown (6/18) on USA Network drew a 1.27 rating, an all-time low non-holiday rating and nearly as low as the Dec. 25 episode late last year which drew a 1.24.
Total viewership was 1.859 million, down from 1.930 million last week. It’s the sixth time in the last eight weeks Smackdown dipped below 2 million viewers.
One year ago, Smackdown drew a 1.97 rating, a drop of over 35 percent.
The male 18-34 demographic dropped to a 0.34, the lowest demo rating ever for WWE and a drop of 50 percent from Raw the night before. One year ago, the same 18-34 demo was 0.96. That’s a 65 percent drop.
We’ll see next week if this was an aberration or a sign of WWE further turning off the core audience that Fox is counting on this fall.
The ten week rolling average total rating is 1.45. One year ago that rolling average was 1.70. This is not part of an inevitable consistent decline in cable viewership. In fact, the ten week rolling average two years ago was 1.63, so last year at this time ratings were up compared the year before. The average so far this year for Smackdown is 1.51. One year ago the average was 1.76.
Smackdown was built around advertising Bayley on “A Moment of Bliss” and Xavier Woods vs. Dolph Ziggler. They also added Seth Rollins & Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn in a match announced during the program as the main event.
This is the type of number that should grab the attention of Fox executives, if the decline since signing their huge deal with WWE last year hasn’t already. It was yet another week that Roman Reigns appeared on Raw but did not appear on Smackdown, his supposed new home show after the Superstar Shake-up. The Wildcard Rule was meant to add star power to both shows along with fresh match-ups, but it’s turned Smackdown into basically the fourth and fifth hour of Raw with many of the same wrestlers appearing and recycling their material with small tweaks from the night before. It doesn’t seem to be working well.
The TV ratings media is also taking note. The TV By the Numbers headline reads: “Tuesday cable ratings: ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ unseats the WWE.” Excerpt:
The Tuesday cable ratings took a turn this week as “WWE Smackdown” was unseated from its throne atop the chart. The usurper was “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” on Bravo, which managed the feat by grabbing a 0.6 rating in adults 18-49. Last week, the show had stalled at 0.5. The displaced USA wrestling series, on the other hand, was also at 0.6, having matched its previous score, but this was not enough for it to remain on top. An episode of “Hannity” on FOX News rose to 0.5 to fill out the top 3.
Smackdown had more viewers than “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” but lost in the key demo rating by a fraction of a percent.