We’re only three weeks into the Wednesday Night War, but the cable ratings for WWE NXT and AEW Dynamite are already settling into a pattern.
According to Showbuzz Daily, All Elite Wrestling’s show on TNT again outperformed NXT on USA on Oct. 16. The gap is about the same as last week, too, and that’s because in terms of both audience size and demographic share, both shows continued to see decline for their 8 - 10 p.m. EDT broadcasts.
Dynamite drew 1,014,000 viewers, down a little more than 100K from their combined first run totals on Oct. 9 (AEW aired on TNT and Tru TV last Wednesday due to the possibility of playoff baseball pre-empting the TNT feed). Rating with the 18-49 year old demo was also down slightly to a .44 share.
That did make AEW the fifth best cable original in the ratings, better than last week when the TNT broadcast was eighth. It’s worth noting that a rainout in New York meant there was no nationally televised major sports competition for wrestling.
The outlook was a less rosy for NXT, a continuing theme. The black-and-gold brand was down about ten percent in both metrics, and didn’t have a split audience last week to mitigate the viewership decline. The audience dropped by about 78K to 712,000. WWE’s rating drop was also steeper. NXT fell to a .20 share among 18 - 49 year olds, 30th best on the night.
Here’s a breakdown of AEW viewership and rating in the 18 -49 demo through three weeks:
- Oct. 2: 1.4 million / .68
- Oct. 9: 1.02 million / .46 on TNT, plus 122K from Tru TV simulcast for total viewership of approximtely 1.14 million
- Oct. 16: 1.01 million / .44
Here’s a breakdown of NXT’s audience and ratings share of the same demographic through five weeks:
- Sept. 18 (one hour on USA): 1.18 million / .56
- Sept. 25 (one hour on USA): 1.01 million / .40
- Oct. 2: 891,000 / .32
- Oct. 9: 790,000 / .22
- Oct. 16: 712,000 / .20
We’ll see if the trend continues next week, but there’s no reason to believe it won’t. It could be worse, as AEW and WWE will go head-to-head with the second game of the World Series between Washington and either New York or Houston - all major markets - as well.