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Even The Bloodline is no match for the NFL

Last Friday’s SmackDown was the fallout episode from an eventful SummerSlam, and promised follow-up to Jimmy Uso returning to cost his twin brother Jey his match with Roman Reigns for the Universal championship and the title of Tribal Chief.

But last Friday was Aug. 11, which offered the first full slate of NFL pre-season games — many of which caused pre-emptions of the show in markets like Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, and 18 others.

It led to uncharacteristic declines for SmackDown, especially a Bloodline-centric episode. Wrestlenomics reports the most recent episode was watched by 2,097,000, and drew a .55 rating among 18-49 year olds. Those are 7% and 11% week-to-week declines respectively, which are slightly less than what the blue show suffered when it was first pre-empted by the NFL in 2022 (which was down 10% and 12% from the preceding four weeks).

Nielson’s numbers do include the audiences that watched SmackDown on delay or the channel they were moved to, but those are obviously going to be less that a live broadcast in its usual home.

But while this momentarily pauses WWE’s growth on Friday nights, it’s still well above what the show was doing on the same week last year. There’s no shame in having to Acknowledge that the NFL is television’s Big Dog.

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.

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