Welp. Everyone, WWE included, knew this was coming.
With more than 100 million cable viewers and another 80 million pairs of eyes on network coverage watching election returns, SmackDown Live had its new worst night since moving to a live Tuesday broadcast back in July. The episode was loaded with news for Survivor Series, but it was also pre-taped from the United Kingdom, so reports of those developments were available before it aired on USA Network.
It all added up to 1,921,000 viewers (down from last week’s 2,187,000) and a .56 rating among 18 - 49 year olds. Those numbers made SmackDown the 40th most watched cable original program on Nov. 9 (29th in the 18 - 49 demo).
The good news is, the election is over and the only sports competition will be early season basketball and hockey games for a while. WWE is loading up next week for a 900th episode celebration with returns from the Undertaker and Edge, as well as an Intercontinental title match with Survivor Series ramifications.
We should get a much better idea of the brand’s potential from that.