SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE Friday Night Smackdown on Fox last night drew 1.919 million average viewers for the two hours, with first hour viewership of 1.941 and a second door viewership of 1.896. It’s the first week on Fox that Smackdown has averaged less than 2 million viewers and it’s the first time an hour of Smackdown on Fox to draw less than 1.9 million.
The first episode of WWE Friday Night Smackdown on Fox drew 3.880 million viewers, so the Smackdown viewership last night was one-half of the premiere. Smackdown lost a million viewers on week two, dropping to 2.877 million, and then settled into a stretch through March 20 where it averaged 2.47 million per week with a small variation week to week (never topping 2.6 million and never dropping under 2.3 million).
Then in the two weeks before WrestleMania and the one episode after WrestleMania which took place in front of no fans in an empty Performance Center setting, the average dropped to 2.36 million, but again with a small variation week to week (ranging from a low of 2.317 million to a high of 2.398 million in those three weeks).
Since then, it’s been an alarmingly sharp drop-off to 2.187 million two weeks ago, 2.005 million last week, and 1.919 million this week. Last week’s drop-off was attributed to going head-to-head with the NFL Draft, which topped cable ratings last Friday. This week there’s no such excuse. More and more viewers are simply choosing not to watch Smackdown.