Wednesday nights settled into a predictable pattern for much of this year. Wrestling fans were the real winners, of course. But when it came to the television numbers, AEW Dynamite was consistently charting higher than WWE NXT in viewership and ratings - even if overall numbers weren’t quite as good as they were before coronavirus lockdowns started in late March.
That changed over the last couple weeks, though. NXT’s had bigger overnight audiences, and inched closer in the ratings. It’s happened as there’s been a renewed focus on competition, with WWE counter-programming AEW’s two week Fyter Fest by bringing back the Great American Bash for NXT.
Now, we’ve got some of the biggest stars who appeared on each show July 1 claiming victory. This past Wednesday saw NXT edge out Dynamite in viewers, but still fall short of AEW in key demographics. Something Chris Jericho was happy to explain to us:
Here’s a lesson about television ratings kids. Last night @AEWrestling was NUMBER 6 in the 18-49 demo. To tv networks & advertisers it’s the ONLY number that matters and we were up 31% in that area! So once again #AEWDynamite is the REAL winner in the Wed night ratings war! pic.twitter.com/JzZU5X779t— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) July 2, 2020
He’s right, at least as far as anyone inside the television and advertising business has ever explained things to me. But NXT still had a lot of people 17 & younger and 50 & older watching USA Network on the 1st. And according to the quarter hour breakdowns in the new Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Sasha Banks vs. Io Shirai had 33% more people watching them than Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, Best Friends, and eventually FTR & The Young Bucks, did from 9:45 - 10 p.m. Eastern.
Dynamite Q8 – 645,000 viewers (64,000 less than Q7), 316,000 in 18-49 (down 17,000 less than Q7)
NXT Q8 - 900,000 viewers (118,000 more than Q7), 309,000 in 18-49 (49,000 more than Q7)
The Boss didn’t offer up math or business advice for us. She didn’t even directly reference the numbers. But we know what she’s talking about...
We’ll let the experts sort this out.
I’m going back to looking forward to Keith Lee vs. Adam Cole and Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler mixing it up with Rey Fenix & Pentagon Jr. on the 8th.