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WWE Draft gives SmackDown the expected big ratings bump

The April 28 edition of SmackDown was the start of the WWE Draft, an event which captures fans’ attention every time the company does it.

Increased attention brings increased ratings, which is among the reasons WWE has a Draft every year or so — even though they usually start trying to find ways around the roster split it’s supposed to define even as selections are being announced.

Last Friday’s SmackDown definitely saw a Draft-induced ratings bump. The episode was watched by 2,473,000. That’s 13% more than the previous week, and the show’s biggest audience since the WrestleMania fallout episode a few weeks before. The rating among 18-49 year olds wasn’t quite as good as what the blue brand was doing on either side of ‘Mania. But the .67 was 24% better than the week before, and a HUGE improvement over the last episode of April 2022.

That’s because last year, WWE went against the NBA & NHL Playoffs without a gimmick like the Draft. This year, they had basketball, hockey AND the NFL Draft as competition. Those likely prevented SmackDown from having even bigger numbers. ESPN’s coverage of the football Draft and two NBA games prevented SmackDown from finishing higher than fifth in the demo on the night.

Here’s a rundown of the past year’s worth of SmackDown’s numbers:

* Aired on FS1

For complete results and this week’s SmackDown live blog click here. To read a recap & review of the night’s events click here. For video highlights of the show click here.

Numbers via Showbuzz Daily

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