A couple weeks back I wrote about how SmackDown’s ratings performance was proof its approach to crafting a pro wrestling show was working. But the numbers have been drifting downward ever since, so if it wasn’t clear before, let that be a reminder - I’m a wrestling blogger, not a television or advertising executive.
Feb. 12 was the third week in a row WWE and FOX’s audience has gotten smaller. The drops have gotten bigger each Friday, too. The 1.88 million average from last night is 11% less than registered in the overnights from Feb. 5.
Ratings were likewise down, but also provide some relief. The 18 -34 year old number was unchanged and earned SmackDown a share of first place with that age group on the night. Under 50, the rating dropped to a .5, and meant FOX was tied for third in that demographic.
The hourly numbers were stable, though, so most people who tuned in at 8 p.m. ET stuck around for the whole show.
Here are the fast nationals:
So what happened? Keeping in mind my credentials, my educated guess is it’s a combination of impeachment coverage (we won’t know how the news networks did until cable ratings come in next week, but I bet that accounts for some of the .2 week-to-week ratings drop among 25 - 54 year olds), more new programming on other channels (a lot of broadcast shows were in reruns for December and January), and an episode last week that sent a message the WrestleMania build probably wouldn’t start until after Elimination Chamber.
Feel free to give us your guesses below.