The Big News
With the “3 I’s” out of the way (Inauguration, Insurrection, Impeachment credit: Bryan Alvarez), this was the first week where both AEW Dynamite and NXT faced what could be considered “normal” competition. It was a bit of punt week for Dynamite as they did a lot of stuff to set up next week’s big Beach Blast show and, as a result, NXT got the closest to Dynamite that they have since November in terms of viewership and 18-49 ratings.
This Week’s Numbers
AEW Dynamite averaged 734,000 viewers, down 14.1% from last week. They were 6th on the cable charts with a 0.29 rating in the 18-49 demo, down 19.4% from last week. Aside from the night of the coverage of the insurrection, it was the lowest viewership and and demo number for the show since November.
NXT rose in both categories for the 2nd straight week. The show averaged 720,000 viewers, up 9.3% from last week and the most viewers for the show since Halloween Havoc on October 25th. They also had their best 18-49 number since that week with a 0.21 rating, up 40% from last week. They finished 24th on cable, much higher than usual.
The combined wrestling audience of 1.454 million was down 3.9% from last week. This was likely due to the NBA game between the Lakers and 76ers that aired directly opposite both shows. The game averaged 1.775 million viewers for ESPN and a 0.56 rating in the demo.
Monday Night RAW on January 25th was down 1.9% from last week and actually had the exact same average viewership as two weeks ago, with 1.819 million viewers. Given that the January 11th show went up against the College Football championship game, this number is a disappointment. The show averaged a 0.52 rating in 18-49, down 13.3% from last week. It did top all of cable in that category for the night, however.
Friday Night Smackdown on January 22nd averaged 2.383 million viewers for FOX. That’s the 3rd straight week of increased viewership for the show since the terrible number on New Year’s Day against the CFB semifinals. They were down 6%, however, in 18-49, with a 0.63 rating. That placed them second on the networks, and all of television, behind ABC’s Shark Tank.
AEW Dynamite was down 11.4% in viewers and 14.7% in 18-49 from the same week last year.
NXT held up better than everything else this week. They were up 1.1% in viewership and down 4.6% in 18-49 from last year.
RAW continues to slide hard. The show was down 24.1% in viewers and 31.6% in 18-49. Yikes!
Smackdown was down 2.7% in viewers and 10% in the demo.
It’s the end of the month and you know what that means: cumulative ratings for all 4 shows.
These numbers cover the four weeks ending today, January 28th. So the Smackdown number for January 29th will not factor into the year over year comparisons since that show hasn’t aired yet. The comparable time frame ends with January 29th of last year so it also misses the last Smackdown of January.
AEW Dynamite averaged 753,000 viewers in January 2021 as compared to 910,600 in 2020. That’s down 17.3% year-over-year. In 18-49, the show averaged a 0.3 rating as compared to 0.36 last year. That’s down 16.7%.
NXT averaged 642,750 viewers this year as compared to 690,000 in January of last year. That’s a drop of 6.8%. The 18-49 number in January 2021 averaged 0.17 as compared to 0.20 last year, a drop of 15%. So the show held up better than Dynamite but is skewing older.
RAW averaged 1,905,166 viewers this year. In January 2020, the average was 2,297,033. That’s a drop of 17.1%, roughly the same as AEW Dynamite. The drop in 18-49 is much more dramatic. This year, the show averaged a 0.59 rating as compared to 0.74 last year. That’s a drop of 20.3%.
Smackdown averaged 2,194,500 viewers in the first four weeks of January 2021 as compared to 2,480,000 over the same 4 week period last year. That’s a drop of 11.5%. In 18-49, the show averaged a 0.60 rating over the last month as compared to 0.75 last year. That’s a drop of 20%, almost the exact same as RAW.