Smackdown viewership declines sharply after several weeks of indications Thunderdome and Reigns brought lost viewers back, NBA and breaking news cut into audience

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

Last Friday’s (9/18) episode of WWE Smackdown drew 2.037 million viewers, down nearly 300,000 from the prior week’s viewership of 2.329 million, which was the highest since Apr. 3.

Excluding last week’s outlier, the prior three weeks drew 2.157 million on average. The prior seven weeks, before ThunderDome debuted and the return of Roman Reigns, averaged 1.914 million viewers. So last Friday’s episode was better than the July and early August viewership, but below the initial increases of late August and early September.

The question is whether the Sept. 18 viewership of barely over 2 million was an outlier and Smackdown viewership will return to around 2.3 million, or if the Sept. 11 Smackdown viewership of 2.3 million was the outlier and even with Reigns and ThunderDome, Smackdown viewership will level out around 2.1 million going forward. The NBA playoffs on TNT drew nearly 5 million viewers, and is likely but not conclusively the reason for the decline in Smackdown viewership. The news of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg caused a surge in viewership for the cable networks, also, with six total episodes among MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN drawing over three million total viewers that evening.

Smackdown’s 18-49 demo rating last week of 0.5 as good enough to top the broadcast network chart, tied with some ABC programming.


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