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AEW vs. WWE Ratings Report: Dynamite hits 1.1 million viewers but drops in 18–49

AEW Dynamite: Beach Break hit over 1 million viewers, but dropped in the 18–49 demographic.

The big news: AEW Dynamite hits 1.1 Million Viewers but Drops in 18–49 demo

AEW Dynamite had it’s highest audience to date since debuting on TBS at the start of the month but also had it’s second lowest rating in the 18–49 demo. The reason being that the audience skewed much older this week as the biggest audience increase was with people over 50. Several categories dropped, including large decreases with women 18–49 and 12–34. The quarter hours, reported by Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics.com, showed a big audience for the opening ladder match between Cody Rhodes and Sammy Guevara that stayed till the end of the match. The show then had a big drop-off for the third segment but essentially stayed at that level for the rest of the show.

This week’s numbers

  • AEW Dynamite averaged 1,100,000 viewers, up 6.6% from the previous Wednesday and the highest viewership for the show since September 29. In the 18–49 demo, the show averaged a 0.41 rating, which was the second lowest of the year and down 6.8% from the January 19 show. Dynamite finished second on the cable charts, trailing an NBA game on ESPN. People over 50 were up 13.5% while women 18–49 dropped 28.1% and females 12–34 fell by 16.7%. 
  • WWE NXT 2.0 on the USA Network, averaged 593,000 viewers, up 1% from last week. In the 18–49 demo the show finished 41st on the cable charts. It’s the second lowest audience for the show since December 21. The show did a 0.14 rating in 18–49, up 27.3% from last week.  The show skewed much younger this week for whatever reason. Males 12–34 were up 80% from last week while people over 50 dropped 8.6%. Perhaps the older people only wanted to watch one show between NXT and Dynamite this week and chose the latter because of the ladder match and the lights out main event. 
  • Monday Night RAW on the USA Network averaged 1,765,050 viewers for the January 24 episode, this first since September without football competition. That’s up 9.5% from last weekend was the largest audience for the show since September 20.  In the 18–49 demo the show averaged a 0.46 rating, up 7%, and tied the best number since November 22. They finished atop the cable charts in the demo, which they usually do outside the NFL season. 
  • Friday Night SmackDown on January 21 averaged 2,255,000 viewers on FOX, up 3.7% from last week. . The show finished second among network programming with a 0.64 rating, 12.5% from the January 14 show. It’s the highest rating in the demo since September 10 of last year.  
  • AEW Rampage averaged 594,000 viewers, up 12.9% from last week. In the 18–49 demo the show averaged a 0.24 rating, down 16.7%, and finished sixth on the cable charts in that category. The show aired head to head with an NBA game on ESPN that led the cable charts with a 0.40 rating. It was the highest audience for the show since November 5 and the demo rating tied the second highest since October 29. 

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 14.8% in viewers and 13.9% in 18–49. It’s the sixth week in a row the show has been above it’s ten-week average.  It should also be noted that the lead-in on TBS is much stronger in the key demo than it was on TNT so this trend would be expected to continue until the weeks of comparison are all TBS airings. 
  • WWE NXT 2.0 was down 3.7% in viewers but up 7.7% in 18–49. The show skewed much younger this week than it has recently. 
  • WWE RAW was up 8.7% in viewers and 9.5% 18–49. This is entirely due to no football competition and this is the traditional bounce back the show does every year.  
  • WWE SmackDown was up 10% in viewers and 30.6% in 18–49. However, one of those weeks was on FS 1 and a best of show, so factoring that out of the equation and comparing to the other nine weeks, the show was up 5.7% in viewers and  18.5% in 18–49 so it was still much higher than the recent averages. 
  • AEW Rampage was up 13.6% in overall viewers and 14.3% in 18–49. There is no obvious reason to point to for this other than the fact the show has been really good in recent weeks and maybe more people are making time for it. 


Year-over-year numbers

AEW Dynamite was up 49.9% in overall viewers and 41.4% in the 18–49 demo. It’s the fifth straight week that the show has had double digit year over year increases in both categories.  They were also the only one of the four major shows to have an increase in both categories this week. 

WWE NXT 2.0 was down 17.6% in viewers and 33.3% in 18–49. So the show is skewing much older in 2022. After three straight week where they had year over year growth, this is back to the huge declines it’s been doing on a regular basis for most of the 2.0 run.  Especially bad is the fact that this is being compared to when the show still was running head to head with AEW on Wednesdays. 

WWE RAW was down 3% in viewers and 11.5% in 18–49. It’s the sixteenth straight week of year over year declines in the demo. The average decline over that time span has been 20%. That’s almost a third of the year. With TV as a whole declining about 8%, this is very bad. 

WWE SmackDown was down 5.4% in overall viewers but up 1.6% in 18–49. While not nearly as impressive as the Dynamite numbers, this is still very good and one of the reasons why this show is so valuable to FOX. 

Ratings extra

Catching up on the cumulative monthly averages, which I’ve stepped away from to show the average quarterly segment growth for individual performers, it’s time to look at November 2021. Listed below are the monthly averages for all five major shows and comparing the big four with the November 2020 averages.

As you can see below, Dynamite is the only show showing year over year growth and it’s substantial.

For November 2021, AEW Dynamite averaged 918,250 viewers and 0.34 in 18-49. That’s an increase of 10.6% in the key demo and 20.8% in overall viewers.

NXT 2.0 averaged 608,250 viewers for the month and 0.1375 in 18–49. That’s a drop of 14.1% in 18–49 and 6.1% overall.

WWE RAW averaged 1,639,559 viewers and 0.4480 in 18–49. The drops were 14.5% in the demo and 5.5% overall.

WWE Smackdown averaged 2,102,500 viewers and 0.555 in 18–49. That’s down 14.6% in 18-–9 and 5.7% in overall viewers from November 2020. Interesting to note that the drops for all three WWE shows are almost the exact same in both categories.

AEW Rampage averaged 525,250 viewers and 0.21 in 18-49. The October averages were 571,600 and 0.23.

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