The topic of WWE’s performance in the television ratings has come up a lot lately, with lots of theories for why the numbers are down. Bad product? Cord cutters? Who cares as long as they’re beating the competition and getting fat checks from NBCUniversal and, soon, Fox?
One thing that everyone’s agreed on, however, was that the numbers wouldn’t look great for the two week stretch that closed 2018 and brought in 2019. Raw and SmackDown falling on Christmas and New Year’s Eve & Day figured to keep viewers away even more than normal during these holiday weeks.
Sure enough, on Dec. 24 Raw drew a record low 1.78 million viewers. That was bad (Wrestling Observer pointed out the last time Raw was on Christmas Eve in 2012 it did 3.15 million), but at least the audience WWE got stuck around. The 10PM ET hour was watched by 1.78 million, more than the 1.75 million who watched the first hour at 8PM ET (the 9PM ET hour had the biggest viewership, at 1.79 million).
Folks who root from Team Blue will be excited to hear SmackDown actually beat the Monday night flagship on the week. The 1.9 million who tuned in on Dec. 25 was down considerably from the week prior (310K fewer than Dec. 18’s 2.21 million). But still... take that Raw!
Both shows dealt not only with the holiday, but were pre-taped against live competition - the NFL’s Oakland/Denver game on Monday and the NBA’s marquee match-up of LeBron James & the Lakers vs. defending champs Golden State on Christmas.
These numbers probably won’t help settle any debates about WWE’s overall television performance. But, yay SmackDown! I guess?