It’s difficult to tell how to interpret the numbers from the Nov. 1 episode of SmackDown on Fox.
Numbers are way up from last week’s show, but that was obviously going to be the case as the Oct. 25 episode not only competed with a baseball World Series game, but was bumped to cabler FS1 because of it.
But the numbers are also up - and in almost every category - over Oct. 18, the last show WWE ran on Fox. That show also had competition from live baseball, with a playoff game airing on FS1.
And how do you factor in the chaos caused by the inability to get the advertised stars from Saudi Arabia to Buffalo in time for SmackDown? Did that cause people to tune out? Or, especially with only regular season sports on cable as live competition, did more people tune in to see how WWE handled the situation?
There’s more debate fodder beyond that, too. In terms of viewers, SmackDown was toward the back of the pack among broadcast competition. But ratings-wise, the blue brand handed Fox a win. With regards to the impact of the black-and-gold brand, the drop off from hour one to hour two was a bit bigger than earlier weeks on Fox. Did casual fans tune out when names they didn’t recognize started showing up instead of advertised ones like Roman Reigns and The New Day?
For now, WWE will take this bit of good news. Here’s a chart of the show’s performance since the move to Fridays (all data via Showbuzz Daily) for you to kick around while you mull over what it all means:
For complete results and the live blog for SmackDown this week click here. To read a complete recap & review of all the night’s events click here. For a full playlist of the show click here.