TV numbers for the Olympics are way down this year (first week coverage was watched by more than 50% less viewers than the 2016 Rio Games), but they’re still stiff competition. The Los Angeles Times reports NBC’s viewership from July 26 - Aug. 1 was “the largest weekly audience of any network since CBS aired Super Bowl LV.”
So WWE and their partners at FOX and NBCUniversal-owned USA are probably pretty pleased the July 30 SmackDown and Aug. 2 Raw didn’t see much change in viewership. They’re probably really pleased both shows also saw their ratings in the 18 - 49 year old demographic rise.
Friday’s show finished with an average audience of 2.043 million, down 4.4% from the week before. The blue brand has been above 2 million viewers every week since WWE returned to the road. July 30’s demo number climbed to .57, a 3.6% improvement from July 23.
Raw was up in both metrics, although the viewership bump wasn’t terribly significant. The Aug. 2 episode added 7K over its July 26 audience, for an average of 1.821 million. More 18 - 49 year olds tuned in though, as the rating was up 4% to .51.
WWE has one more time going up against the Olympics, this week’s SmackDown. Next Monday’s red brand offering will be the start of about a month of shows without nationally televised sports competition... then the NFL is back on Sept. 13 with Monday Night Football.