NXT cuts into AEW’s ratings lead with smallest percentage gap between shows yet, both take big hit from Game 7 World Series, AEW losing young males to NXT, other key metrics

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


WWE NXT Arena (photo credit Josh Parry (c) PWTorch.com)

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Game seven the World Series on Wednesday night pulled viewership for NXT on USA and AEW Dynamite down to their lowest levels yet.

  • AEW Dynamite on TNT drew 759,000 viewers, down from 963,000 the week before.
  • NXT on USA drew 580,000 viewers, down from 698,000 the week before.

NXT also aired on USA Network a one-hour highlight show from last week in the hour leading into this week’s new live show; that drew 264,000 viewers. NXT also replayed immediately after the live airing on USA; that drew 207,000 viewers.

Counting the live show and the immediately replay, NXT outdrew AEW by a 787,000 to 759,000 viewership.

Percentage-wise, the gap between the shows continues to shrink. NXT’s head-to-head live viewership was 76 percent of AEW’s this week. That percentage is the highest yet. Last week it was 72 percent, the week before that 70 percent, the week before that 69 percent, and the first week it was 63 percent. So with shrinking viewership for both shows, the difference between the shows in total viewers and in percentage of difference keeps shrinking. The first week percentage difference was 37 percent, and that is now down to 24 percent. With the buzz from Finn Balor’s turn and strong favorable reviews for the show along with continued cross-promotion by WWE on Raw and Smackdown, AEW could find themselves behind NXT eventually, although there’s still a ways to go.

The cable household rating for AEW was 0.58 and for NXT was 0.48. Those are both series lows. Next week, without World Series competition, it’ll be a chance to get a truer picture of where the two shows stand and if there’s going to be a substantial rebound. Gong from a total of 2.3 million viewers in the first head-to-head Wednesday to 1.3 million on week five is a bad sign for the shows, even with the extenuating circumstances.

In demographics, among 18-34 year olds, AEW dropped from 0.52 to 0.28. NXT, despite the downturn in viewership overall, drew from 0.12 to 0.18 in that same 18-34 demographic. If that’s part of a trend of NXT pulling in 18-34 year viewers from AEW, that’s a sign of NXT doing something well and AEW needing to correct course to counter the movement. For NXT’s overall viewership to go down sharply, yet grow in a demo that AEW lost nearly half of its viewers in points toward what would be an alarming situation for AEW.

Among men 18-49, NXT held steady with 0.23 while AEW went from 0.62 to 0.48. So unless AEW has a much larger cross-section with young male baseball fans, something is going on with the appeal of NXT compared to AEW over time.

Among all adults 18-49, AEW dropped from 0.45 to 0.33 and NXT dropped from 0.21 to 0.18.


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