The big news
The gains that AEW Dynamite received last week in persons 50+ were a one week aberration and with those numbers returning to normal levels, overall viewership for the show was way down from last week. The 18-49 number held relatively steady for the show and, as a result, it was a closer than usual race for this week’s installment of the Wednesday Night War. With the NBA on their All-Star break, the big competition was the season premiere of South Park, which did over 1.7 million viewers and a 0.82 rating. They also aired two immediate replays which likely bit into their numbers as well.
This week’s numbers
AEW Dynamite averaged 743,000 viewers, down 20.5% from last week. The show finished 4th on cable, down 3%, with a 0.32 rating. That’s higher than it finished last week, despite the lower rating.
NXT finished 25th on cable, about the same as last week, with a 0.18 rating. That’s down 10% from the previous week. In overall viewers, they were almost exactly even with last week, averaging 691,000 viewers as opposed to 692,000 the previous week.
Monday Night RAW on March 8th was up 0.7% from last week, averaging 1.897 million viewers. They topped the cable ratings in 18-49 with a 0.55 rating, although that was down 5.2% from the previous week.
The March 5th episode of Friday Night Smackdown on FOX averaged 2.252 million viewers, up 5% from last week. So that show was the biggest week-over-week gainer of all the major wrestling shows. It averaged a 0.60 rating in 18-49, second on all of television, up 11.1% from the previous week.
AEW Dynamite was down 3% in total viewers but up 23.1% in 18-49. I feel like a broken record saying how impressive these year-over-year numbers are for a show in it’s second full year. I expect this to continue over the next several months as the comparisons will be to shows that aired in empty buildings with little to no fans. News was up a lot a year ago this week as this was the week where the world started to shut down due to COVID-19 and this was the last wrestling show to air in a full building with fans.
NXT was down 0.9% in total viewers and 14.3% in 18-49. The story is essentially that the combined 18-49 numbers are almost the same but there is a shift from NXT to AEW for a decent percentage of them.
Monday Night RAW was down 12.3% in total viewers and 20.3% in 18-49. Again the RAW average audience continues to skew older year-over-year.
Smackdown was down 8.3% in total viewers and 14.3% in 18-49. The latter is the exact same percentage decline as NXT which doesn’t really mean anything but I thought was an interesting statistical tidbit.
I don’t have anything for this section this week but if there is anything you want me to delve into, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or a twitter DM to @paulacefontaine and I’ll see what I can do. Otherwise I’ll continue to publish the monthly and quarterly summaries and also the viewership movers and shakers every quarter, including 18-49 numbers starting at the end of this month.
I’d like to encourage all of you to check out a podcast that airs on the Fight Game Media Network Patreon. Parker Klyn and I are co-hosting The Dynamite Show, a quick recap of AEW Dynamite. Parker does the written Dynamite coverage for both this site and F4W Online, and this podcast is a nice companion to that work.