WWE News: SmackDown Viewership Down This Week
Both Raw and SmackDown took a ratings dip this week.
What’s the Story?
This week’s episode of SmackDown saw a decrease in viewership from the past few weeks and had an average of 2.566 million viewers; down more than 200,000 viewers from the previous episode which featured the 10-Man Battle Royal that ended in a draw.
This week’s episode featured John Cena’s interview with The Miz, Randy Orton turning on Bray Wyatt via barn burning (literally), and AJ Styles defeating Luke Harper to become the new number one contender for Wyatt’s WWE Championship.
In Case You Didn’t Know...
Since 2017, SmackDown’s viewership has fluctuated between 2.5 to 2.8 million viewers and it seemingly peaked on their Royal Rumble Fallout show on January 31st which featured Cena teaming up with Harper to take on Wyatt and Orton and a main event between Styles and Dean Ambrose.
This episode of SmackDown is currently the second lowest viewed episode with the lowest being the January 24th episode which saw Orton facing Harper and an Intercontinental Lumberjack match between Ambrose and The Miz.
The Heart of the Matter
Though it is still early in the year, the fact remains that this show had a lot less wrestling and a lot more promo time and that creative choice doesn’t seem to have been what some of the fans were looking for. The effects that the coverage of Donald Trump’s first congressional address had on the ratings can also not be underestimated.
The WWE polled their audience on Twitter about their enjoyment of the show and the polls showed that the majority of the audience enjoyed the show. 77% of fans gave SmackDown thumbs up, while 23% of the audience gave it thumbs down.
What did you think of this week's #SDLive?— WWE (@WWE) March 1, 2017
Though Raw clearly had the advantage from the viewership standpoint, they did not have the advantage in the Twitter poll as Raw had 52% say they did not enjoy the show while 48% said yes.
These patterns might not change in the near future.
SmackDown fans seemed to enjoy the show, but the ratings clearly don’t reflect that fact.
Fans have been saying for months that SmackDown is the superior show, but that hasn’t helped their ratings and viewership problem. SmackDown managed to beat Raw in the ratings on time since the Brand Split started, but haven’t come close since.
Hopefully, SmackDown continues to deliver quality shows so that the fans can come back to the Blue Brand and match the fans enjoyment with their viewership.
Although SmackDown was going head-to-head with significant competition, the latest episode was a lot more promo heavy than usual and it resulted in a bit of a mixed bag. While some fans were satisfied seeing the storylines take shape and develop heading into WrestleMania, others didn’t really know how to feel about certain segments like the Orton-Wyatt angle.
Regardless of how fans felt, SmackDown’s side of the Road to WrestleMania seems to be running smoothly and hopefully Raw can match the Blue Brand’s storytelling at some point soon.