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The big news

Coming off a very successful pay-per-view on Sunday night, the follow-up show to Revolution did a record low viewership for Dynamite on TBS. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the show topped all of cable television in the key demo and was way up from the previous week.

Still, the show continues to benefit from the strong lead-in provided by The Big Bang Theory, as evidenced by these quarter hour breakdowns as reported by Brandon Thurston of wrestlenomics.com. Not a single quarter hour of the show hit the show average in total viewers with the exception of the opening one.

This week’s numbers

  • AEW Dynamite averaged 945,000 viewers, down 2.2% from the previous Wednesday and it was the lowest since December 8 of last year when the show was on TNT. In the 18–49 demo, the show averaged a 0.40 rating, which was up 14.3% from the March 2 show and tied for the fifth lowest rating (or fifth highest) in the demo so far in 2022. Dynamite topped the cable charts despite stronger than usual news ratings and going head to head with the NBA on ESPN. The biggest increases were with young women. In the 12–34 age group, they were up 38.5% with females and the .18 rating in that demo matches the second highest since 2020. Women 18-49 were also up 27.3% to a 0.28 rating. People over 50 were down 15.4%, which was the main reason for the overall audience decline. The 0.33 rating in that category was the lowest in almost a year since the show was going head to head with NXT.  
  • WWE NXT 2.0 averaged 613,000 viewers, up 11.3% from last week. In the 18–49 demo the show finished 55th on the cable charts, on a night where cable news again dominated the charts. NXT 2.0 did a 0.13 rating in 18–49, the same rating as last week. The 18–49 number tied the best mark for the show since January 25. 
  • Monday Night RAW on the USA Network averaged 1,775,333 viewers for the March 7 episode. That’s up 1.3% from last week. It’s the second biggest audience for the show since October 4 of last year. In the 18–49 demo the show averaged a 0.45 rating, down 4.3%, and tied the fifth largest number of 2022. They led all cable in that category beating the next highest show by more than 15%. 
  • Friday Night SmackDown on March 4 averaged 2,261,000 viewers on FOX, up 5.5% from last week. The show led all network programming with a 0.59 rating, up 3.5% from the February 25 show. That tied the second highest rating for the show since October 1 of last year. They also led network programming in the 18-34 demo with a 0.37 rating, 54% higher than the second place show.  The show advertised the first ever Smackdown match for former UFC Champion Ronda Rousey and had a huge spike in viewership for her match. The final quarter, featuring her match, had an overall audience increase of 187,000 viewers with 45,000 of those being in the 18-49 age group. These were 9% and 6% increases respectively from the previous quarter. 
  • AEW Rampage averaged  545,000 viewers, up 15.2% from last week. In the 18–49 demo, the show averaged a 0.22 rating, up 22.2%, and finished sixteenth on the cable charts in that category. It was the largest viewership for the show since February 11 and best 18–49 rating since January 28.  

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 5.6% in viewers but up 2.6% in 18–49. It was almost a statistically average show although skewing a little younger than usual.    
  • WWE NXT 2.0 was up 4.2% in viewers but even in 18–49. With two of those weeks being on SyFy, it’s closer to average, maybe even a little lower. This was a special episode, Roadblock, and those usually see a bigger bump in viewership than this.   
  • WWE RAW was up 6% in viewers and up 2.3% 18–49. Numbers are usually up during the Road to WrestleMania and we are right in the middle of that now. 
  • WWE SmackDown was up 8.4% in viewers and 15.7% 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 4% in viewers and 5.4% in 18–49. So similar to RAW, it looks like a WrestleMania bump but a little higher due to the Rousey match.  
  • AEW Rampage was down 1.2% in overall viewers and even in 18–49. This is about as statistically close to average as you could possibly get. 

Year-over-year numbers

AEW Dynamite was up 27.2% in overall viewers and 25% in the 18–49 demo. They were the only show this week to have increases in both categories year over year.  

WWE NXT 2.0 was down 11.3% in viewers and 27.8% in 18–49. That’s especially bad considering it’s being compared to when the show still was running head-to-head with AEW on Wednesdays.

WWE RAW was down 6.4% in viewers and 18.2% in 18–49. It’s the twenty-second straight week of year-over-year declines in the demo. The average decline over that time span has been 20%. That’s almost half a year. With TV as a whole declining about 8%, this is very bad. 

WWE SmackDown was up 0.4% in overall viewers but down 1.7% in 18–49. That’s very good with TV on the whole declining about eight percent and essentially even with last year.  

Ratings extra

Last month I showed the averages for January as compared to the same month in 2021. This month I’ll do the same for February and this will catch things up.

For February 2022, AEW Dynamite averaged 990,500 viewers and 0.3675 in 18–49. That’s an increase of 25.3% in overall viewers and 15.8% in the key demo.

NXT averaged 539,000 viewers for the year and 0.11 in 18–49. That’s a drop of 27.9% in 18–49 and 17.6% overall. Two of this year’s shows did air on SyFy so this isn’t an entirely fair comparison.

WWE RAW averaged 1,641,862 viewers and 0.445 in 18–49. The drops were 19.5% in the demo and 10.1% overall. Like NXT, the show was moved to SyFy for two weeks because of the Winter Olympics.

WWE SmackDown averaged 2,167,250 viewers and 0.5425 in 18–49. That’s down 7.7% in 18–49 but up 0.7% in overall viewers from February 2021. It’s the second straight month of year over year growth for SmackDowm 

AEW Dynamite had huge gains but had the advantage of a new, stronger network as well as not having NXT as direct competition. SmackDown being up is a good sign for that show in terms of getting a television rights increase on their next deal.

AEW Rampage averaged 508,250 viewers and 0.19 in 18–49 for January.  The January averages were 577,250 and 0.23.

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