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AEW Battle of the Belts 2 ratings down from first Saturday special

All Elite Wrestling

The numbers are in for AEW’s second-ever TNT “Saturday Fight Night” special, Battle of the Belts II, which aired last Sat., April 16.

Showbuzz Daily reports the show had 527K viewers at 8pm ET, and got a .18 rating with 18-49 year olds. It finished 10th among cable originals on the day.

The nine programs in front of BOTB2 were all sports-related, with NBA Playoff basketball leading the way. Two basketball games overlapped AEW’s hourlong 8pm ET show: one on cable with ESPN’s coverage of Philadelphia vs. Toronto that tipped off at 6:30 and drew 3.6 million viewers & a 1.25 demo rating, and the 8:30pm Golden State/Denver contest watched by 4.5 million that pulled a 1.33 on ABC. There was also coverage of the opening weekend of the rebooted USFL spring football league on NBC and FOX that had an audience of approximately 5 million while BOTB2 was on.

So that could help account for why this special didn’t do as well as Jan. 8’s Battle of the Belts. Viewership was down 25%, and the rating 33% lower than that show’s 702K and .27. BOTB1 went head-to-head with an NFL game watched by 20 million people that scored a 5.0 rating in 18-49, though. So competition probably isn’t the only factor here. At least two others: the April 16 offering was pre-taped while January's was live, and this one aired on a holiday weekend.

AEW still delivered a top ten finish for its network, so there’s probably not too much to worry about here.

Give us your analysis below, ratings-watching Cagesiders.