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AEW & WWE Ratings Report: AEW Dynamite Matches Lowest 18-49 Number Since Wednesday Night War

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The big news:

AEW Dynamite matches the lowest 18-49 number since April 2021; RAW was up in second week on SyFy.

AEW Dynamite did not have as strong of a lead-in from Big Bang Theory as it does most weeks on TBS and as a result, the show did its lowest viewership in over two months and its lowest rating on a Wednesday night in the key demo since April 7, which was the final week of the Wednesday Night War with NXT.

The show had a much lower opening quarter than usual and declined steadily throughout, as shown in data originally reported by Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics.com.

This week’s numbers

  • AEW Dynamite averaged 869,000 viewers, down 23% from the previous Wednesday and the lowest viewership for the show since December 1. In the 18–49 demo, the show averaged a 0.11 rating, which was down 24.4% from the February 9 show and matched the lowest number since April 7 for a show on a Wednesday. Dynamite finished third the cable charts, trailing two different NBA games on ESPN but beat the Olympic coverage on the USA Network. The show was way down with males 12-34, likely due to the NBA, and fell in every category with the exception of females 12-34, where it was even with last week. It’s also notable that the week-to-week audience decline was the largest since January 6, 2021, which was the week following the Brodie Lee tribute show.  
  • WWE NXT 2.0, in week two on the SyFy Network like RAW, averaged 525,000 viewers, up 31.3% from last week. In the 18–49 demo the show finished 48th on the cable charts. It’s the highest audience for a show airing on SyFy but this was also a themed show, Vengeance Day, and themed shows generally receive a ratings boost. The show did a 0.11 rating in 18–49, up 57.1% from last week.  The 18-49 number was the same as the average of the two SyFy shows last August when NXT was moved due to the Summer Olympics. 
  • Monday Night RAW on the USA Network averaged 1,601,667 viewers for the February 14 episode which was the second week since being moved to SyFy. That’s up 15.4% from last week, which was the lowest audience in the history of the show in their normal time slot.  In the 18–49 demo the show averaged a 0.44 rating, up 22.2%, and the fourth highest so far in 2022. They led all cable in the key demo, including the Olympic coverage on the USA Network that moved it so SyFy. 
  • Friday Night SmackDown on February 11 averaged 2,231,000 viewers on FOX, up 3.7% from last week. The show finished third among network programming with a 0.55 rating, up 7.8% from the February 4 show. It’s the second lowest rating in the demo for the show so far in 2022. It should be noted that Smackdown (and Rampage) aired opposite coverage of the Winter Olympics, which did nearly ten million viewers between NBC and USA Network coverage.   
  • AEW Rampage averaged 549,000 viewers, up 1.7% from last week. In the 18–49 demo the show averaged a 0.19 rating, down 5%, and finished tenth on the cable charts in that category.  It was the second lowest viewership for the show since New Year’s Eve and matches the lowest rating in the demo since December 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 13.3% in viewers and 18.4% in 18–49. It’s the second time in the last three weeks the show has fallen below it’s ten week average. 
  • WWE NXT 2.0 was down 11.5% in viewers but and 15.4% in 18–49. This is far worse than the RAW decline which probably tells you how little of a priority this show is for most people but still better than last week. 
  • WWE RAW was down 1.7% in viewers and up 7.3% 18–49. There are several weeks of football factored into this but that’s still good considering the show aired on an unfamiliar network. 
  • WWE SmackDown was up 12.2% in viewers and the same percentage 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 2.9% in viewers and  1.9% in 18–49. Those are solid increases and to be expected on the road to WrestleMania. 
  • AEW Rampage was up 0.5% in overall viewers but down 13.6% in 18–49. The overall viewership seems to have settled in to a consistent number but the demo number is falling. 

Year-over-year numbers

AEW Dynamite was up 16.3% in overall viewers and was even in the 18–49 demo. It’s the seventh straight week that the show has had double digit year over year increases in total viewers.  They were also the only one of the four major shows to not have a decline in either category this week. 

WWE NXT 2.0 was down 26.4% in viewers and 31.3% in 18–49.  That’s especially bad if it’s being compared to when the show still was running head to head with AEW on Wednesdays, but they do have the SyFy excuse this week. It’s notable that the 18–49 decrease, as well as the 18-49 increase for Dynamite, are the exact same as two of the last weeks, one of which had no Olympics. 

WWE RAW was down 11.5% in viewers and 22.8% in 18–49. It’s the nineteenth 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 up 12.1% in overall viewers but down 3.5% in 18–49. That’s very good with TV on the whole declining about eight percent.  

Ratings extra

After catching up on monthly data for the end of 2021 over the last few weeks, this week I’ll compare the quarterly data for Q4 (October-December) 2021 for all four shows and how they did compared to 2020. It’s a longer term trend that is less susceptible to variables. Next week it will be the year end data for 2021.

For Q4 2021, AEW Dynamite averaged 978,944 viewers and 0.3661 in 18-49. That’s an increase of 16.3%  in overall viewers and 8.2% in the key demo.

NXT 2.0 averaged 638,941 viewers for the quarter and 0.1476 in 18–49. That’s a drop of 8.5% in 18–49 and 18% overall.

WWE RAW averaged 1,660,243 viewers and 0.4406 in 18–49. The drops were 14.3% in the demo and 3.8% overall.

WWE SmackDown averaged 2,022,588 viewers and 0.5224 in 18–49. That’s down 12.2% in 18–49 and 4.5% in overall viewers from Q4 2020.

AEW Dynamite was the only show to have increases in either category for the quarter but WWE’s drops were not as severe when they’re balanced out over the quarter as they seem to be week to week.

AEW Rampage averaged 567,889 viewers and 0.2289 in 18–49. The Q3 averages were 748,429 and 0.33. They were heavily boosted by the CM Punk debut in August and the fact there were only seven weeks in the period.

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