The ratings are in for Mar. 25, and the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen looks to have taken a big chuck of 18-49 year old viewers from both WWE SmackDown and AEW Rampage.
SmackDown spent it’s first hour head-to-head with one of the tourney’s biggest stories, Cinderella St. Peter’s. The Peacocks win over Purdue in the 7pm ET game was watched by more than 10 million viewers on CBS, drawing 2.26 rating in the key demo. SmackDown also dealt with a good Kansas/Providence game on TBS that was watched by 2.65 million, and got a .71 in the demo.
Considering that, WWE actually gaining viewers over Mar. 18 (the blue brand’s total audience of 2.18 million was 1.5% better than the Friday before) was pretty impressive. Unfortunately, it came along with a 15% drop in 18-49 year olds; the .49 rating was one of the show’s worst numbers since crowds returned last July.
Rampage was hoping to rebound (pun semi-intended) from being pre-empted by basketball the week before. But against a showdown of blue bloods North Carolina & UCLA on CBS that drew 8.82 million and a 2.37 demo rating, and a Miami/Iowa State game with an audience of 2.55 million and a .71 in 18-49, AEW had worst-ever numbers in their usual Friday night timeslot. Rampage was watched by 425K, and had a .14 in the demo. Those are declines of 19% and 36%, respectively, from the Mar. 11 episode that aired at 10pm ET.
The Tournament is on to the Final Four, and won’t be on Friday this week. It’s WrestleMania SmackDown and... a Rampage show that has competition from Tony Khan’s Ring of Honor, among other things. Should be interesting.
Numbers via Showbuzz Daily