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WWE News: SmackDown Live ratings improve but viewership declines 

The numbers are not too good heading into WrestleMania season.

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News 15 Feb 2018, 15:24 IST
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Dolph Ziggler won the main event match against Sami Zayn, qualifying for the WWE Championship Match
Dolph Ziggler won the main event match against Sami Zayn, qualifying for the WWE Championship Match

What's the story?

This week's episode of WWE SmackDown Live saw the ratings of the show improve from last week. The viewership of the show, went down, however, in the face of competition from the Winter Olympics. 

According to 411Mania, there was a 2% drop in viewership from last week's episode of SmackDown Live. 

In case you didn't know...

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens both suffered a loss on SmackDown Live and were unable to keep their WWE Championship Match at Fastlane a Triple Threat match. They lost their matches against Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler, which resulted in the pay-per-view title match becoming a Fatal 5-way encounter.

The ratings for WWE shows, usually pick up Post Royal Rumble, heading into Wrestlemania Season. Compared to the previous year's number at around the same time, the number of viewers for SmackDown has suffered a drop. Last year, at this time, WWE's Blue Brand recorded 2,626,000 viewers on their Valentine's Day episode of SmackDown Live. 

The heart of the matter

This week's show recorded a viewership of 2.449 Million viewers. This is 2% down compared to last week's numbers of 2.505 Million viewers, and a loss of 56,000 viewers. 

The ratings for the show did increase, however, and brought in a rating of 0.76, which is 1% up from last week's 0.75, in 18-49 demography. It stood in the second position among cable originals and lost out to the Cavaliers vs. Oklahoma City NBA game.

The reason for the drop in viewership can be attributed to the Winter Olympics, which has caused several other shows to lose viewers as well. 

What's next?

With WWE's contract with the USA Network coming to an end, several networks are in negotiations with WWE to secure a television deal going forward. There may be a fall in the viewership, but WWE still remains a huge draw.

Author's take

This week's SmackDown Live was a good show, and moved forward the storyline, though it was not particularly exciting. The Winter Olympics is the major reason for the fall this week. The viewership is likely to rise steadily as we head towards WrestleMania.

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