SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
In last night’s battle between AEW and NXT, the gap between the two shows basically disappeared after weeks of signs NXT was gaining on AEW. Among live and same-night-DVR viewers, AEW drew 822,000 viewers and NXT drew 813,000 viewers. That gap of just 9,000 viewers is down from 179,000 last week.
- 10/30 – AEW lead = 179,000
- 10/23 – AEW lead = 265,000
- 10/16 – AEW lead = 302,000
- 10/9 – AEW lead = 350,000
- 10/2 – AEW lead = 518,000
In terms of actual cable rating, which is measured slightly differently (rather than total number of people watching in total for a small or long stretch of time, it measures minute by minute percentages of total possible viewers with cable, so it rewards shows whose viewers watch for a longer period of time), NXT beat AEW by a 0.62 to 0.58 margin.
This story has been developing for weeks, but solidified as a major concern for AEW this week. Last week, AEW went up against game seven of the World Series, but the bounce-back from where they were two weeks ago wasn’t great – they dropped 204,000 from Oct. 23 to Oct. 30, then regained only 63,000 of those viewers this week. When Smackdown was bounced from Fox from the World Series, they lost two-thirds of their viewers, but the next week back on the usual channel actually regained more viewers than they lost.
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AEW drew 1.832 million viewers on week one – 1.409 million on the live airing and 423,000 on the replay. They’re down, 587,000 viewers (41 percent) for their live show in just six weeks, which is not likely breeding confidence within AEW or TNT that they’ve done things as well as they could have to hook viewers. It could be seen as a sign to reevaluate some of their assumptions, although the real time to “get this right” was the first three weeks when they had more than one million viewers and a chance to introduce their new wrestlers to a national audience.
Meanwhile, NXT more than regained the lost viewers from last week. Two weeks ago, the show drew 698,000 viewers, then dropped to 580,000, then rebounded to 813,00 viewers this week. Total viewership for the live premiere of both AEW and NXT two weeks ago was 1.661 million viewers. This week, it was nearly identical 1.635 million. What that says is almost everyone who watched the World Series last week instead of pro wrestling returned to pro wrestling this week, but a lot of people switched from AEW to NXT.
NXT had the advantage of angles on both Smackdown and Raw that involved NXT wrestlers, which introduced NXT wrestler to a larger audience, and also conveyed to Smackdown and Raw viewers that some Smackdown and Raw wrestlers were likely to show up on NXT this week. Combining that with the intriguing Finn Balor jump to NXT and heel turn, NXT had a lot going for it. Whether AEW can get those viewers back will be something to watch for the next couple of weeks.
AEW had a huge advantage among 18-34 males on week one – 0.73 to 0.23. That lead is gone, as NXT tied AEW with a 0.32 rating in both demos this week. They also tied last week with 0.28 ratings. It was a four-to-one lead two weeks ago (0.52 to 0.12) and a two-to-one lead the week before that (0.43 to 0.21).
They were basically tied in other key demos, with AEW having a lead (0.35 to 0.30) among all adults 18-49 and a small lead among 18-49 males (0.46 to 0.45).