WWE News: Smackdown Live ratings increase while viewership decreases
The blue brand took a slight hit in viewership this week
This week’s Smackdown saw the best rating in over a month, despite the fact viewership slipped a bit from last week. Last night’s episode brought in a 0.81 rating in the 18 – 49 demographic and 2.405 million viewers, up 3% and down 2% respectively from last week’s 0.79 demo rating and 2.448 million viewers.
The rating was the highest since the September 13th episode which had a 0.91 demo rating, while the total number of viewers was, besides last week, still higher than any episode since the September 13th episode’s 2.658 million. The September 13th episode was the Backlash fallout when AJ Styles first came out as WWE World Champion.
Smackdown ranked #2 for the night among cable originals according to Showbuzz Daily, behind only the Dodgers vs. Cubs game on FOX Sports 1 at a 1.89 demo rating and 6.494 million viewers.
This was almost a full 700,000 viewers less than Monday Night Raw, who hit 3.1 million viewers thanks to Goldberg’s return. For the first time in recent memory, Raw’s third hour had more viewers than the second hour (albeit, a tad bump up).
This is almost unheard of, as it is well known several people tune out by the second hour due to the exhaustive nature of the three-hour format. However, the three-hour format brings in more sponsors, which is more money for the USA Network, and subsequently much more money to WWE as well, so it doesn't look like that will change.
The main event of this week’s Smackdown Live was a WWE World Championship match between AJ Styles and James Ellsworth.
Some of the other matches included a six-man tag match between The Miz & The Spirit Squad against Dolph Ziggler and Heath Slater & Rhyno, Alexa Bliss vs Naomi, Baron Corbin vs Jack Swagger, and Randy Orton vs Luke Harper.
Next weeks’ Smackdown Live main event was announced on Talking Smack. AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose will go one-on-one in a non-title match. If Dean Ambrose wins, then he will get a future title shot against AJ Styles. It is the second time this bout will be the Smackdown Live main event.
It will be interesting to see if it draws a decent number. Regardless, it looks like it will take a lot more time for SmackDown Live to catch up with the Flagship show in the ratings, but with the consistency that they have, it may only be a matter of time.
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