This Week in Wrestling Ratings – Week 5, October 2019
In the final week of October, the beast that was the World Series landed right on a game seven Wednesday night, slamming everyone in their wake with 23 million viewers and a staggering 6.1 in the 18-49 demographic. NXT and AEW were the poor victims once again. Monday Night Raw didn’t have as much of an excuse, while Smackdown had everything to gain being off FS1.
(First score is amount of viewers, second score is 18-49 demographic. 18-49 demographic is in italics. All ratings come from Showbuzz Daily)
Monday Night Raw: October 28th
This Week: 2.32M 0.79 Hour 1/2.14M 0.72 Hour 2/1.92M 0.65
This Week Average: 2.12M 0.7
Last Week: 2.47M 0.78 Hour 1/2.37M 0.74 Hour 2/2.175M 0.72 Hour 3
Last Week Average: 2.33M 0.7
Monday Night Raw has lost 210,000 viewers on average last week with the 18-49 demographic staying the same.
Thoughts: I’m not factoring last year and five years ago this week because it’s more interesting to discuss the drop from this week and last week. Last week looked like a good number especially with them building up to Crown Jewel on Thursday. What’s more interesting to me is the drop hour to hour.
Hour 1 lost 150,000 viewers on average compared to last week with a 0.01 gain in the 18-49 demographic.
Hour 2 lost 230,000 viewers on average compared to last week with a 0.02 drop in the 18-49 demographic.
Hour 3 lost 255,000 viewers on average compared to last week with a 0.07 drop in the 18-49 demographic.
One look and you’ll notice that the first hour this week compares better to the first hour of last week, the second hour of this week compares better to the third hour of last week, and the final hour compares nothing to the first hour of last week. Did Raw have anything like the World Series to compare to like NXT and AEW did? Their only stiff competition in their demo was an NFL regular season game between the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers, nothing that should be world beating. This is a pretty good indication that people just were not interested in this episode, especially the build up to the Divorce Court angle between Bobby Lashley, Rusev, and Lana. It feels like the company put a lot of belief in that sort of crash TV style Attitude Era trash being a ratings winner and instead everyone flicked off the channel. It’s interesting to me that Raw’s best hour this week is comparable to the first episode of AEW on TNT, with the difference only truly being in the 50+. Not a good sign for Raw. They need to bounce back after Crown Jewel, and likely be doing a brand invasion to build for Survivor Series to get it done.
NXT on USA: October 30th
This Week: 0.58M 0.18
Last Week: 0.698M 0.2
First Week on USA: 1.179M 0.43
NXT on USA has lost 118,000 viewers on average since last week with the 18-49 demographic dropping by 0.02
NXT on USA has lost 599,000 viewers on average since the first episode on USA with the 18-49 demographic dropping by 0.25
Thoughts: The good news is that the hurt should end here. NXT on USA lost 118,000 viewers against the World Series, which is honestly less than I expected them to lose. I don’t see NXT dipping to under 500,000 any time soon, especially since some of their numbers look good against AEW for once. NXT won in some demos against AEW including women 18-34 and people 50+. They were also pretty close on people 18-34 due to the drop for women for AEW. If they can build up on those numbers this will be a good sign for them. The 50+ was still strong and will surely rise up, especially after some people got a load of NXT on Smackdown last night.
AEW on TNT: October 30th
This Week: 0.759M 0.33
Replay: 0.116M 0.05
This Week Total: 0.875M 0.38
Last Week: 0.963M 0.45
First Week on TNT: 1.409M 0.68
AEW on TNT has lost 88,000 viewers on average since last week when you include the replay with the 18-49 demographic dropping by 0.07
AEW on TNT has lost 116,000 viewers on average since last week not including the replay with the 18-49 demographic dropping by 0.12
AEW on TNT has lost 534,000 viewers on average since the first episode on TNT when you include the replay with the 18-49 demographic dropping by 0.30
Thoughts: I’m likely to get some push back for combining the replay and the main broadcast, especially since NXT’s replay happened and just wasn’t in the Top 150 (I tried contacting Showbuzz Daily and got no response) but the fact is, the World Series was an asteroid crashing on earth and everyone paid attention to that. It cut into everyone’s ratings heavily. But once it ended, there were 116,000 people willing to stay up for a 12:30AM replay of the show. Losses were hard across the board, with exception to the 50+ demo, which is usually weak for AEW. That stayed steady with last week at 0.25. The worst loss was in males 12-34 which had a 0.19 loss. Too bad after that fantastic Undertale inspired intro and Kenny Omega’s Sans outfit, which at least got positive coverage across virtually every gaming website. Without the World Series to worry about, AEW and NXT should both see some increases finally. That could be as bad as it gets until the spring.
I should also note that the show finished 6th among all cable programs in the key demo, and adding the replay they would have finished in a tie with the Milwaukee/Boston NBA season game. This is the first week AEW has fallen out of the top 5 since October 9th, when they had some of their audience watching on TruTV.
Smackdown on FOX:
This Week on FOX: 2.6M 0.8 Hour 1/2.48M 0.8 Hour 2
This Week on FOX Average: 2.54M 0.8
Last Week on FS1: 0.888M 0.27
First Week on FOX: 3.92M 1.6 Hour 1/3.818M 1.6 Hour 2
First Week Average: 3.87M 1.6
Smackdown on FOX has gained 1,652,000 viewers on average since last week on FS1 with the 18-49 demographic gaining by 0.53
Smackdown on FOX has gained 100,000 viewers on average since the last episode on FOX with the 18-49 demographic dropping by 0.05
Smackdown on FOX has lost 1,330,000 viewers on average since the first episode on FOX with the 18-49 demographic dropping by 0.8
Thoughts: What a big bounce back. It even beat the show from two weeks ago by 100,000 viewers (though it lost 0.05 in the key demo) but this is a great number for Smackdown. With the MLB playoffs over we at least have a couple good weeks of seeing what wrestling fans actually want to watch. I do feel the best gauge is in February, when WWE isn’t in their Wrestlemania season and the Superbowl is over. None of the major sports companies are having playoffs in February so it’s an excuse free month with only the actual quality of the show in question (people still attempt to gauge based on what was on television but I feel unless it’s a major event like a championship or major season finale of a TV show, it shouldn’t make a major difference).
While no World Series helped tremendously, the influx of NXT talent seems to have helped as well, specifically on the fact that the men were up but women dropped as they moved into second hour. Smackdown is the lowest rated Friday primetime series for women if you don’t count programming on CW (which is a network but less watched than the others by a large margin) so I’d give credit to them, even if their show dropped against the World Series. That FS1 rating people are now saying doesn’t matter, but that’s not true. It matters because if things ever get bad for Smackdown, such as cancellation bad, WWE knows that their audience isn’t loyal enough to follow to FS1. They’ll have to look for a new network entirely if Fox can no longer be the home of Smackdown. This is a major win for WWE, and they needed it after Crown Jewel on Thursday (where much of their talent was stranded until Saturday)
The stories to follow next week:
– Can Monday Night Raw rebound from a poor week with the upcoming Survivor Series and a dose of their own invasion from NXT or Smackdown?
– Can NXT on USA get a bump from their Smackdown on FOX invasion?
– Can AEW see some increases for the first time after multiple weeks of heavy competition, and maybe gain some 18-34 viewers after Kenny Omega’s Undertale tribute?
– Can Smackdown increase once gaining the stars they lost stranded in Saudi Arabia for next weeks episode?