This Week In Wrestling Ratings- Week 4, October 2019
In the fourth week of television for Wrestling Ratings in October, things start to settle up a bit. At least for three of the main American shows. It’s interesting since the WWE products for Raw and Smackdown are building up for the controversial Crown Jewel event and AEW is building for their Full Gear show on November 9th, which means they have two more weeks of programming.
Once again, much of the talk was on sports competition, especially the Major League Baseball World Series. There was an expectation that NXT and AEW going up against the World Series would lead to massive drops. As I said last week, I don’t really care about the sports competition. That said, I’ll go with it this week since it was supposed to hurt everything significantly. Did it? Not quite. So why am I going with it? Because it proves my point that sports shouldn’t matter. What matters is what show can attract what viewers on any given week.
(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 21st
This Week: 2.47M 0.78 Hour 1/2.37M 0.74 Hour 2/2.175M 0.72 Hour 3
This Week Average: 2.33M 0.7
Last Week: 2.521M 0.82 Hour 1/2.318M 0.76 Hour 2/1.997M 0.63 Hour 3
Last Week Average: 2.278M 0.7
Ratings in 2018 (10/22/2018): 2.609M 0.92 Hour 1/2.622M 0.95 Hour 2/2.413M 0.89 Hour 3
2018 Average: 2.55M 0.9
Ratings in 2014 (10/20/2014): 3.59M 1.11 Hour 1/3.864M 1.28 Hour 2/3.63M 1.23 Hour 3
2014 Average: 3.69M 1.2
Monday Night Raw has gained 52,000 viewers on average since last week with the 18-49 demographic staying the same at 0.7.
Monday Night Raw has lost 222,000 viewers on average since last year with a 0.2 loss in the 18-49 demographic.
Monday Night Raw has lost 1,360,000 viewers on average since 2014 with a 0.5 loss in the 18-49 demographic.
Thoughts: An increase on the rating is a good sign for Raw. It’ll be interesting to see if this week’s focus on the Rusev/Lana/Bobby Lashley situation helps or hinders the rating since much of the show was about that. The YouTube numbers at last check were over 2.6 million which is probably more views than the actual show. Paul Heyman will get and does deserve some credit for at least stopping the bleeding on Monday Night Raw, especially in comparison to what Bruce Pritchard has been doing (and was doing even when Eric Bischoff was technically in charge) over on Smackdown, and also what Paul Levesque is doing on NXT (though that’s starting to even out.)
NXT on USA: October 23rd
This Week: 0.698M 0.2
Last Week: 0.712M 0.2
First Week on USA: 1.179M 0.43
NXT on USA has lost 14,000 viewers on average since last week with the 18-49 demographic staying the same at 0.2
NXT on USA has lost 481,000 viewers on average since the first episode on USA with a 0.23 loss in the 18-49 demographic.
Thoughts: To be honest this is actually a very good rating on NXT compared to previous weeks drops. Dropping only 14,000 viewers is a small change and only feels bigger that they are under 700,000 viewers, even though they were barely above last week. I still consider this “700K range” so their rating really didn’t change much. This is a hold steady rating. Fans seemed to be very excited about Finn Balor turning heel at the end of the show from the overrun, even though it creates a definite lopside between babyfaces and heels at a time when Velveteen Dream is out. I guess that’s good in elevating someone, or maybe they plan to bring someone from the main rosters over, or maybe Triple H joins up with DIY and Pedigree’s everyone at WarGames. Who knows? Either way, a good week for NXT, after nothing but miserable drops the past several.
AEW Dynamite: October 23rd
This Week: 0.963M 0.45
Last Week: 1.014M 0.44
First Week on TNT: 1.409M 0.68
AEW on TNT has lost 51,000 viewers on average since last week with a gain on the 18-49 demographic at 0.01
AEW on TNT has lost 446,000 viewers on average since the first episode on TNT with a 0.23 loss in the 18-49 demographic.
Thoughts: Good gosh what an interesting rating. Losing 51,000 viewers doesn’t look good of course, especially when they drop out of the one million mark. It feels pretty bad but until you take a closer look at the demographics. They actually increased on many of their demos. Take a look at a dirty comparison from Showbuzz Daily:
They increased on the 18-49, increased on women 18-49, slight drop in males 18-49, big increase 18-34 across the board, slight drop on the 25-54, and a major drop in 50+. If there wasn’t something causing males 18-49 or people 50+ to watch something else (I guess 11.9 million people watching the World Series at 8PM with a 14.0 demographic share in the 50+ had a little to do with it), the rating would have been up from last week. Maybe the DDP surprise will help lead to more sticking around in the 50+ this week? Either way, AEW has a lot to build on from last week after the Cody/Jericho brawl, but I’m a little disappointed they are doing a contract signing. WWE has run those into the ground. Also hope this week isn’t tag match after tag match but only one women’s match. Some variety would go a long way.
Smackdown on FS1: October 25th
This Week on FS1: 0.888M 0.27
Last Week on FOX: 2.39M 0.8 Hour 1/2.49M 0.9 Hour 2
Last Week on FOX Average: 2.44M 0.85
First Week on FOX:3.92M 1.6 Hour 1/3.818M 1.6 Hour 2
First Week Average: 3.87M 1.6
Ratings in 2018 on USA (Tuesday): 2.08M 0.69
Ratings in 2014 on SyFy (Friday): 2.279M 0.61
Smackdown on FS1 has lost 1,552,000 viewers from last week with a 0.58 loss in the 18-49 demographic.
Smackdown on FS1 has lost 2,982,000 viewers from the first week on FOX with a 1.33 loss in the 18-49 demographic.
Smackdown on FS1 has lost 1,192,000 viewers from last years Smackdown on USA with a 0.42 loss in the 18-49 demographic.
Smackdown on FS1 has lost 1,391,000 viewers from Smackdown on SyFy five years ago with a 0.34 loss in the 18-49 demographic.
Thoughts: That is not a typo. I made sure to make it very clear that this was a show on cable instead of the network FOX we’re used to, but this rating is still preposterous. I knew the rating would drop but most felt around 1.5 million, not something lower than what AEW did. How is AEW beating Smackdown in 2019? It’s ridiculous. Why is Smackdown on FS1 only doing a 0.5 better than NXT on USA in the 18-49 demographic? Why did nobody bother to flip over?
I’ve heard some people try to claim it’s because not as many people get FS1 or that this is a big rating for FS1, but in the same slot on Friday, September 20th, a PAC-12 college football game beat it with a 1.421M viewership and a 0.44 demographic share in the 18-49. That was last month. Earlier this month on October 4th, the MLB American League Division Series post show at 5:30 did 968,000 viewers. People can find FS1 if they need to.
And it’s not like this was a throwaway show. You had Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Rey Mysterio making an off brand appearance, pretty much all the superstars were out to make sure the rating wasn’t going to be low and people didn’t think WWE was phoning it in because it was moved to FS1 for the week. But people didn’t care to watch. This is worse than last year on USA. This is worse than five years ago on SyFy. Will the rating go up next week? I mean it better. But how much it goes up needs to erase this week completely from memory. Smackdown needs to do around the 2.4M with a 0.85 demo they did last week or better. Better would erase this completely from memory.
If this does anything it’ll be effectively erase the idea of Smackdown one day moving to FS1 if FOX ratings get too low. FOX won’t want to pay for Smackdown on FS1 with low ratings and WWE will want to be on a better network. If Smackdown gets cancelled from FOX it’s not going to FS1. It’s gone from FOX’s networks entirely.
Last week I said to check if things were improving or the boom is a fantasy. Things improved for Raw, stayed steady for NXT, and was up and down for AEW Dynamite. For Smackdown, the boom looks to be a faded memory.