SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The return of AEW Dynamite to TNT with a live program after taking Christmas night off last week scored the best viewership since Oct. 16 with 967,000 viewers. NXT, which aired a pre-taped 2019 Awards program, took a big hit to viewership, dropping to 548,000, it’s lowest viewership to date on USA Network. Both shows went up against the College Football Championship game.
Without competition from AEW last week on Christmas night, NXT grew from 775,00 the prior week to 831,000. Without live competition from NXT this week, AEW grew from 683,000 two weeks ago to 967,000 this week.
The demographic leads were predictably strong for AEW, with a 0.52 rating in the M18-49 demo, well above NXT’s 0.17 rating. In the male 18-34 demo, AEW led by a 0.26 to 0.10 margin. Among all adults, AEW more than doubled NXT with a 0.36 to 0.15 margin.
AEW’s cable rating was 0.70 compared to NXT’s of 0.46.
The battle for viewers returns to an even playing field next week with both shows airing live programs without a holiday or a big sporting event competing. The viewership margin has been extremely close in recent weeks, with the average lead for AEW shrinking to 8,800 for the three head-to-head battles in December. Taking into account three days of delayed DVR viewership, the margin shrinks to 3,700. Taking seven day DVR viewership into account, NXT takes the lead by 9,800. (NXT has the disadvantage of viewers having the choice to watch on delay on WWE Network, which doesn’t get counted in the delayed viewership tallies for USA Network, but NXT always get a boost in viewership numbers from its overrun where it grabs a lot of AEW viewers in closing minutes after Dynamite ends.)
In the Wednesday night cable ratings, AEW finished at no. 13 in the overall rankings among the targeted 18-49 demographic that gets tracked most often by networks and advertisers. All but three shows ahead of them were college football-related programs. NXT didn’t finish in the top 20.