After a week that saw WWE SmackDown achieve a near two-year high in ratings, the blue brand came back to Earth in its latest addition, hitting just 2,207,000 viewers. This marked a loss of 328,000 viewers from the week prior, a week that was headlined by Roman Reigns and the Bloodline. SmackDown’s total viewership number was its second lowest in the month of September, besting only September 2nd’s 2,077,000 mark. While SmackDown did take a major hit from last week, the numbers showed that the blue brand is still doing a good job maintaining its audience as this week marked the fourth week in a row for the blue brand topping 2.2M viewers. However, the decline from last week isn’t to be understated because it definitely confirmed something that many have already known for a while. When Roman Reigns is announced to appear on SmackDown, viewers tune in. When he’s off the card, there is a significant drop off. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Reigns has become WWE’s biggest drawing star. Let’s take a deeper dive into the numbers for last week’s SmackDown.
WWE Ratings – SmackDown Rating and Viewership Data for September 30, 2022
WWE Smackdown, Friday on Fox (8-10pm):
P18-49 rating: 0.54
#2 in P18-49 among broadcast primetime and cable originals
— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) October 3, 2022
As reported by Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics, last week’s episode of SmackDown had a total of 2,207,000 viewers and a demo rating of 0.54, making it television’s second-best program on Friday night. ESPN’s broadcast of the Washington vs UCLA college football game won the night among the P18-49 demo. AEW Rampage, which drew just 472,000 viewers was the ninth best cable original program on the night. According to ITN WWE, this number marks the fourth week in a row for SmackDown hitting over 2.2M viewers and the 15th time in the last 17 weeks dating back to mid-June, that the blue brand topped two million viewers. SmackDown’s prolonged run of two-million viewership shows has been a great sign for the brand, as has SmackDown’s position as one of the top three programs on television nearly every single week.
This week’s SmackDown was not without its flaws as it very much felt like a show that was just kind of there. It wasn’t particularly good or bad, but it did still manage to garner upward of two million viewers, which is an impressive feat. The show featured the main event of Drew McIntyre, Johnny Gargano and Kevin Owens in action against Austin Theory and Alpha Academy, as well as Shotzi taking on Bayley, Imperium destroying Sheamus, Hit Row winning over Los Lotharios, Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa defeating Ricochet and Madcap Moss, and segments that included Jey Uso, Karrion Kross, and the Maximum Male Models.
Next week marks SmackDown’s season premiere, a show that has already announced a huge match of Gunther against Sheamus, and an in-ring confrontation of Roman Reigns and Logan Paul in advance of their championship match in Saudi Arabia. The blue brand has been flirting with three million viewers and could be poised to hit that number as soon as this Friday. And while WWE may not actively be targeting three million as a benchmark, it would no doubt look good on the quarterly finance call if they can hit that number. Over the last few weeks, SmackDown has seen what works and what doesn’t and this Friday’s show is a clear indication that they are seeking a big number. That’s why they’ve announced the matches and segments they have thus far. This includes featuring Logan Paul, but more importantly, Roman Reigns, who is clearly a ratings draw if recent numbers are any indication.
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