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The big news: NXT 2.0 hits record-low in 18–49

This week’s episode of WWE NXT 2.0 had the lowest audience since the move to Tuesday nights and, in fact, going back to February of this year. But the bigger news is that the show did a 0.11 rating, or the lowest in the two-plus year history of the show. The median age of the show this week was 62 years old, so all of the efforts to attract a younger audience seem to have the opposite effect, at least for this week. There was a stronger than usual NBA game this week. News was up, and there was also a soccer game that drew a big audience on Univision but things like this have happened before and they’ve never gone this low.

After eighteen months of competing with AEW Dynamite in the AEW vs. WWE ratings war, NXT 2.0 is so far behind that show, it’s almost inconceivable that they were ever even close to competitive.

This week’s numbers

  • AEW Dynamite averaged 984,000 viewers, up 7.8% from the previous Wednesday. In the 18–49 demo, the show averaged a 0.37 rating, up 5.7% from last week. Dynamite finished third on the cable charts for the second week in a row, trailing only the two NBA playoff games on ESPN. Looking at the numbers a little more closely, the biggest increases were with older viewers this week. Even though 18–49 was up, 18–34 was down. And the 25–54 age group had the largest increase, so it stands to reason that the 39–54 age group would be the one that carried the numbers for this show.  The only other category to drop was females 18–34 and the fact that we only saw very short appearances, and no match, from Adam Cole or Jungle Boy, may be the reason for that. 
  • WWE NXT 2.0 on the USA Network,  averaged 574,000 viewers, down 4.8% from last week. In the 18–49 demo the show finished 55th on the cable charts. This is the first time the show has been outside the top 50 since February 10. It’s also the lowest audience total since that time which predates the rebranding of the show and the move to Tuesday nights. The show did a 0.11 rating in 18–49, down 26.7% from last week and the lowest number in the history of the show. Detailed demo numbers are not available for the show due to it’s placing on the cable charts. 
  • Monday Night RAW on the USA Network averaged 1,583,878 viewers for the November 15 episode. That’s up 2.3% from last week. In the 18–49 demo the show averaged a 0.42 rating, up 5% from the previous week. They finished sixth on cable in the demo, but first among non-NFL related programming, as is the case most weeks during the NFL season. 
  • Friday Night SmackDown on November 12  averaged 2.104 million viewers on FOX, up 0.5% from the previous week. The show topped the networks in the demo. They also finished first among network programming in the 18–34 demo with a 0.37 rating. 
  • AEW Rampage on the same night following SmackDown averaged 515,000 viewers, down 14% from last week.  In the 18–49 demo the show  averaged a 0.20 rating which was down 9.1% from the previous week. Rampage finished thirteenth on the night in the cable charts in the key demo. This is only the second time they’ve failed to crack the top 10. 

As shown in the chart below, the increases/decreases over the ten-week average, prior to this week, are as follows:

  • AEW Dynamite was down 1.7% in viewers and 5.1% in 18–49. The numbers would look much worse if the two Saturday airings weren’t a part of those averages. 
  • WWE NXT 2.0 was down 13.3% in viewers and 6.3% in 18–49. So the show is skewing a little younger, which is likely a result of pushing younger talent. 
  • WWE RAW was down 10.5% in viewers and 31.3% 18–49. The 18-49 audience was down almost three times as much as the overall audience which shows just how old this show skewed. The big sports competition would be the main reason for this. 
  • WWE SmackDown was up  7.2% in viewers and  7.7% in 18–49 but there were two weeks where the show aired on FS 1 that affects that average. In comparing to the eight weeks of FOX airings, the show was down 5.1% in viewers and 10.3% in 18–49. 
  • AEW Rampage was down 15.6% in overall viewers and 20% in 18–49. The latter number is probably the most concerning.  

Year-over-year numbers

AEW Dynamite was up 15.8% in overall viewers but had the exact same rating in the 18–49 demo. For Wednesday night airings, this is the first week since March 24 that the show hasn’t had a year over year increase in the key demo. However it’s the twentieth straight week the show has had an overall year over year audience grown on Wednesday and nineteenth straight double digit increase. 

WWE NXT 2.0 was down 10% in viewers and 21.4% in 18–49. This is being compared to when they were running on Wednesdays opposite Dynamite so it’s even worse than it seems on the surface. The same can be said of the AEW show and look at the difference.  

WWE RAW was down 11% in viewers and 17.7% in 18–49. It’s the sixth straight week of year over year declines in the demo after a good run of growth earlier in the year.    

WWE SmackDown was down 5.8% in overall audience and 6.7% in 18–49. This is the first time Smackdown has had consecutive weeks of year over year declines since March.  

Ratings extra

Courtesy of Brandon Thurston at Wrestlenomics.com, below is a chart detailing the quarter hours for this week’s episode of AEW Dynamite on TNT.

The peak number in terms of audience was the top of the second hour, which is often the case, but it also coincided with the confrontation between MJF and CM Punk so that shouldn’t be surprising. The main event had the highest rating in the 18–49 demo, which is almost never the case. That indicates a lot of interest in that match.

The MJF/Punk segment also had the highest percentage of gain in terms of both audience and 18–49. The biggest losing segment was the one that immediately followed, which featured the tag match between the Acclaimed and Dante Martin and Lio Rush.

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