SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW Dynamite on TNT drew 1.409 million viewers, while NXT on USA Network head-to-head drew 891,000 viewers. That’s a drop-off from NXT’s first two 1 million plus viewership numbers, but not catastrophic, especially given the hype and buzz for the AEW debut.
AEW had no basis to make strong prediction on what they’d draw, but outdrawing NXT by 500,000 viewers is a big win. Some early indicators including Playstation VUE numbers and Twitter poll and trending metrics suggested a bigger win for AEW.
The AEW Dynamite rating is the highest on TNT other than the NBA since the SAG Awards on Jan. 27, which drew 1.506 million. Animal Kingdom, TNT’s current top original drama, drew 1.388 million recently and Claws drew 800,000.
AEW also drew 423,000 viewers for the replay right afterward.
AEW decisively beat NXT in all key demos, with a more than two-to-one margin of victory in the key 18-49 male demo (0.92 to 0.41). They also decimated NXT in the male 18-34 demo, 0.73 to 0.26. (That’s where the indicators pointed last night and earlier today, but that three-to-one margin was only among 18-34 males.) Among all adults 18-49, AEW more than doubled NXT (0.68 to 0.32). That points toward NXT closing the gap with older viewers 50 and above and also kids under 18.
We’ll have more information and perspective here at PWTorch.com later, so check back.
A couple hours before ratings were released, but likely based on early indicators they received, WWE released the following statement to PWTorch.com:
“Congratulations to AEW on a successful premiere. The real winners of last night’s head-to-head telecasts of NXT on USA Network and AEW on TNT are the fans, who can expect Wednesday nights to be a competitive and wild ride as this is a marathon, not a one-night sprint.”