Smackdown Live has been getting a lot of buzz and acclaim from the WWE Universe. Many believe that in the past 8 weeks since the draft, Smackdown Live has been 6-2 up on Raw in terms of the score. Some of the reasons that Smackdown Live has been the more preferred show so far is the two-hour format, which by default makes it far easier to watch.
Another one is the utilization of their talent, which can be especially seen in the Women’s division, where all women are kept on an equal level and given opportunities. And the third reason is the simple storytelling as compared to Raw, which tends to overexpose a lot of their talents.
Smackdown Live’s ratings have been consistent and are improving. This week’s Smackdown Live drew 2.658 million viewers, up 8% from last week’s 2.454 million viewers. How much ever critical acclaim comes there way, Smackdown Live has not beaten Raw in the ratings yet.
However, it doesn’t seem too far off before we see Smackdown Live beat WWE’s Flagship show. Raw pulled off an average 2.68 million viewers, which means that Smackdown Live was short by just about 142,000 viewers. Raw’s ratings were considered to be one of the all-time lows, especially given that they went head to head with Monday Night Football, which just began its season. Luckily, Smackdown Live does not have to compete with Football.
Smackdown Live ranked #1 among cable originals for the night, beating OWN’s If Loving You Is Wrong (2.941 million viewers) for the top spot. Next week will be a real challenge for the Tuesday timeslot, as it faces off against the premieres of several broadcast networks’ fall shows including The Voice, Scream Queens, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. So it wouldn’t be surprising if the ratings dip a little bit.
Smackdown Live tied with Monday Night Raw in terms of demographic, scoring 0.91. It looks like it is just a matter of time before Smackdown Live beats the Flagship show. It will be very interesting to see how Raw deals with falling viewers and the creative team really needs to up their game. In the last brand split when Smackdown was beating Raw, WWE put Smackdown superstars on Raw in order to get better ratings.
However, it should be a long-term process, but so far, Smackdown Live is becoming the show to watch in WWE.
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