Debut of Friday Night Smackdown on Fox scores some blockbuster first-week numbers, key metrics, Fox bragging points

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor



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The debut episode of WWE Friday Night Smackdown on Fox drew 3.896 million viewers, according to overnight broadcast ratings. The show was no. 1, by a wide margin, in pretty much every demographic. Fox, in a press release, touted that the viewership marked an 85 percent jump over the previous four weeks of Smackdown ratings, which averaged 2.098 million.

The Apr. 9, 2018 Raw’s first hour drew 4.098 million viewers. The Jan. 22, 2018 episode of Raw drew 4.803 million viewers in the first hour and averaged a higher viewership number; that was the “Raw 25” special. Other than that, Raw averaged more than 3 million viewers on July 22 for each hour.

We also received access to the ratings for each 30 minute block from a TV industry ratings source.

8:00-8:30 p.m. – 4.058 million

8:30-9:00 p.m. – 3.782 million

9:00-9:30 – 3.862 million

9:30-10:00 p.m. – 3.773 million

In the time period on Fox, it was up 250 percent versus the week-ago adult 18-49 viewership and up 40 percent versus year-ago in adult 18-49 viewership.

3 Comments on Debut of Friday Night Smackdown on Fox scores some blockbuster first-week numbers, key metrics, Fox bragging points

  1. Last year’s Fox show at this point in October, at the 8pm hour, did much better than this Smackdown, though SD did better than last year’s 9pm Fox show.

    Fox’s Friday night reruns have had low viewership for some time, so comparing a first run Smackdown versus a rerun in the end of summer is not that insightful. Instead, compare year over year for Fox, and we’ll see if Fox is getting its money’s worth.

  2. In order to stay on FOX they will have to maintain those numbers, that will be tough to do unless they vastly improve the product.

  3. How much of that can be attributed to having the Rock on Smackdown though?

    The WWE pulled a lot of cards for that show. Credit where credit is due, that was a smart play. The test will be when they don’t have the benefit of having the Rock, or a very rare Lesnar wrestling match. You take those out, and it still sounded an awful lot like boring Smackdown on USA.

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