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WWE News: SmackDown viewership drops by a large margin

The blue brand took a big hit in viewership figures.

AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin was the main event of SmackDown Live

What’s the story?

SmackDown Live this week drew 2.544 million viewers, down 18% from the previous week, which drew 3.105 million viewers.

In case you didn’t know....

Last week’s episode of SmackDown Live was the “Superstar Shake-up”. Naturally, that drew in a lot of viewers. It was expected that the viewership would dip, but perhaps not to this extent.

The episode of SmackDown Live featured Charlotte Flair inserting herself in the Women’s Championship picture, AJ Styles and Baron Corbin going at one another in the main event, and Jinder Mahal becoming the number one contender for the WWE championship, in what many consider one of the biggest upsets in a while.

Jinder Mahal becoming #1 contender had created a lot of buzz about him and SmackDown Live. He is currently set to take on Randy Orton at Backlash next month for the WWE championship. 

The heart of the matter

SmackDown Live’s viewership this week was the second worst in 2017, while the previous week’s Superstar shake-up saw the best viewership of the show since the brand split itself back in July.

SmackDown Live was #6 in viewership on cable, behind two NBA Playoff games, Special ReportTucker Carlson, and The O’Reilly Factor. The show ranked #3 in the 18-49 demographic, only behind the two NBA Playoff games. RAW, on the other hand, drew 3.346 million viewers as compared to 3.429 million the previous week.

What’s next?

SmackDown Live will continue its build to Backlash with Randy Orton being pitted in a rivalry against Jinder Mahal, while AJ Styles begins a potential rivalry with Kevin Owens for the United States Championship. He could still face Chris Jericho if he wins the title at Payback, but it is unlikely as Jericho is set to depart from WWE for a while.

Author's take

As mentioned, it was definitely expected that the viewership would dip. While it maybe the second lowest figure of the year for the blue brand, that does not mean that it is a bad sign. SmackDown Live has been fantastic creatively and has excelled in bringing the most out of the talent that they have. 

SmackDown Live has come out looking very good after WrestleMania, with additions to the roster such as Shinsuke Nakamura (who came up right after WrestleMania), Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Charlotte and Rusev, among others and should put out a fantastic product going forward. Hopefully, this will help give the show the viewership it deserves.


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