WWE News: SmackDown Live viewership ratings go up
What's the story?
This week's SmackDown Live had some promising statistics for the future of the Blue Brand. Both ratings and viewership of the Blue Brand improved from last week, with the viewership at the highest point since the first SmackDown Live show of the year.
According to F4WOnline, the viewership recorded by SmackDown Live was the second highest of the year.
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When compared to previous years, the viewership, however, has continued to decline. The previous year, SmackDown Live had a viewership of 2,792,000 for the corresponding show. While RAW did better in this respect, the Blue Brand was not able to do the same.
This week's show was closed by a bout between AJ Styles and Baron Corbin, as they continued to build towards the last Brand Exclusive pay-per-view of SmackDown Live, Fastlane, which is set to take place on the 11th of March, 2018.
The heart of the matter
SmackDown ratings have been on a steady decline over the past few weeks. The SmackDown Live viewership reached the lowest point of this year on the previous week's show, but this week's broadcast showed a drastic increase from the previous week's 2,449,000 viewers to 2,613,000 viewers.
The show was 4th on Cable, which is much higher than usual shows. It also topped the 18-49 demography on cable with a rating of 0.8.
On the other hand, the fan retention rate was still poor and similar to previous weeks.
F4WOnline also compared the viewership figures of SmackDown Live, keeping in mind the WWE Championship reigns of AJ Styles and Jinder Mahal, with the average viewership being much higher for AJ Styles over Mahal. While the average viewership for SmackDown Live was 2,476,720 for Jinder Mahal, Styles has had an average viewership of 2,582,533 so far.
SmackDown Live is set to continue on the road to Wrestlemania, with Fastlane coming up. The ratings should improve this close to Wrestlemania, and WWE will be hoping that they improve further, with negotiations for a new television deal coming up soon as their contract with USA Network is set to expire.
SmackDown Live's show lacked the same quality as Raw's. There was something integral missing, as well as top fan favourite stars being missing from the show.
The show might be able to make a comeback, as, after the brand split, SmackDown Live was widely considered the better show.