The big news
After being moved around for the last month due to the NBA Playoffs on TNT, AEW Dynamite returned to its Wednesday night time slot last night and did a better rating than they’d been averaging in the time slot prior to all the moves. This is a great sign as generally in situations like this, it takes fans a few weeks to find the show again. With Dynamite scheduled to start filming on the road again next week, the numbers could go up even more from the levels they’re at now with this positive momentum.
This week’s numbers
AEW Dynamite averaged 883,000 viewers, up 36.1% from the previous episode that aired on Saturday. It was up 7.6% from the last Wednesday night episode on May 19. In the 18-49 demo, the show averaged a 0.35 rating, a huge 66.7% increase from Saturday’s show. It was up 25% from the most recent Wednesday show as well.
The news was not so good for WWE NXT. That show averaged 636,000 viewers on June 29th, down 4.4% from the previous week. In the 18-49 demo, they were down to a 0.13 rating, down 40.9% from the previous week. The show had heavy sports competition but those are still terrible numbers and they’re doing worse numbers than they were on Wednesday with AEW as direct competition. It’s the lowest viewership for the show since March 17th and the worst number in the demo since February.
Monday Night RAW on June 28th averaged 1.57 million viewers on the USA Network, down 8.7% from the previous week. It’s the 4th lowest viewership the show has ever done. In the 18-49 demo, the show did a 0.41 rating, down 16.3% from the previous week. That tied the previous record low rating in the demo for the show set last December although the actual viewer number in that category was very slightly up. This show cannot get back in front of live crowds fast enough.
Saturday night’s edition of AEW Dynamite on June 26th averaged 649,000 viewers, up 17.8% from the previous week, when the show aired on Friday. In the 18-49 demo, the show averaged a 0.21 rating, up 5% from the previous week. It was the best number in both categories that the show had done since moving from it’s regular time slot although it was a better time slot than the previous 3 weeks.
WWE Smackdown on Friday June 25th averaged 1.971 million viewers, down 3.3% from the week before. That previous week featured a Roman Reigns title defense inside Hell in a Cell, so that low of a drop should be considered good. In the 18-49 demo, the show averaged the same 0.54 rating that it had the week prior.
As shown in the chart below, the increases/decreases over the ten-week average, prior to this week, are as follows:
AEW Dynamite was up 17.5% in viewers and 29.6% 18–49. 4 of those 10 weeks were out of their regular time slots but it was still up from the previous 10 week average prior to the recent moves.
WWE NXT was down 10.9% in viewers and 27.8% in 18–49
WWE RAW was down 10.1% in viewers and 18% in 18–49
WWE SmackDown was down 2.4% in viewers and up 3.8% in 18–49
AEW Dynamite was up 18.1% in overall viewers and 20.7% in 18–49. Last year, of course, AEW and NXT were running head to head but AEW is now showing increases and NXT is not so that’s a decent gauge of where the two shows are at.
WWE NXT was down 19.7% in viewers and 40.9% in 18–49. Last year, the Great American Bash fell on this week and NXT had a loaded up show including stars from the main roster and scored a rare ratings win over Dynamite.
RAW was down 9.5% in viewers and 14.6% in 18–49. The viewership drop is in line with what other TV shows do year over year but the 18-49 drop is a little higher, which could be concerning if that keeps up.
SmackDown was down 9.3% in viewers but up 8% in 18–49. The latter number is huge under any circumstances.
It’s been a while since I’ve done this column due to schedule changes and a few weeks where ratings information was hard to come by in a timely fashion. So I missed recapping the May average numbers for the month. So I’ll take care of that this week and next week, I’ll publish the averages for June and then the following week, I’ll have the 2nd quarter averages for all 4 shows and compare all of these numbers to last year at the same time.
For the month of May 2021:
AEW Dynamite averaged 843,250 viewers, up 15.8% from May 2020. In the 18-49 demo, the show averaged a .3025 rating, up 15.8% from last year.
WWE NXT averaged 714,000 viewers and a .1575 rating in the 18-49 demo. That was up 10.3% in viewers but down 3.1% in 18-49. This was the first full month where the two shows were split so the move to Tuesday nights seems to have helped Dynamite more than it helped NXT, which is what I had predicted going in.
WWE RAW averaged 1,738,000 viewers for the month. That’s down 2% from the previous year. They were down 5.6% in the 18-49 demo, with an average rating of .484. Those numbers are better than television overall holds up year over year.
WWE Smackdown averaged 2,015,000 viewers in May, down 0.9%. They were down an almost identical 0.8% in 18-49, averaging a 0.516 rating. Those numbers are essentially even and have to be considered a positive.
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 also does the written Dynamite coverage for both this site and F4W Online, and this podcast is a nice companion to his work.