WWE SmackDown TV Ratings Down from Fox Debut Despite 1st Night of the Draft

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 04: Paul 'Triple H' Levesque attend WWE 20th Anniversary Celebration Marking Premiere of WWE Friday Night SmackDown on FOX at Staples Center on October 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
Jerod Harris/Getty Images

WWE SmackDown experienced a significant drop in overall viewership Friday compared to its debut episode on Fox last week.

According to Tony Maglio of The Wrap, preliminary Nielsen numbers show that Friday's edition of SmackDown garnered 2.899 million total viewers, which was down from the 3.888 million it drew last week.

The total number of viewers last week grew to 3.999 million when adding figures from Fox Deportes and Fox's streaming platform, meaning this week's viewership could still see a slight bump.

SmackDown's rating in the all-important 18-49 demographic dropped from 1.4 to 1.0 over the past week as well, but it still won the night in that category.

Even with the drop-off, SmackDown remained the most-watched wrestling show of the week, beating out Raw (2.334 million), NXT (790,000) and AEW Dynamite (1.140 million between TNT and truTV).

Although Friday's SmackDown didn't have the same allure of the premier, which boasted an appearance by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, it was still a newsworthy show.

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The first night of the WWE draft saw many of the company's top Superstars get selected to either Raw or SmackDown. Roman Reigns, "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt and Sasha Banks are among the big names the blue brand landed.

Several Fox Sports personalities, such as Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Michael Strahan, Terry Bradshaw and Tony Gonzalez, appeared as well.

The show concluded with a SmackDown Women's Championship rematch between Charlotte Flair and Bayley that surprisingly saw a new-look Bayley win back the title.

Next week's SmackDown will represent the first episode with an exclusive roster, meaning stars such as Becky Lynch, AJ Styles and Randy Orton won't be appearing.


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