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SmackDown draws another historic low rating


Bad news is coming for WWE from left and right. They have been troubled with frustrated superstars trying to leave the company for a while now and just recently we reported how the company announced a net loss in the first quarter of 2019.

Now it appears that the declining ratings are going to be the latest headache WWE Officials have to deal with as this week’s episode of SmackDown has drawn another historic low.

This week’s episode of SmackDown Live featuring a Kofi Kingston and Kevin Owens segment for the main event drew a total of 1.833 million viewers.

This a massive 11.5% decline from last week’s 2.072 million viewers of the show and the lowest audience for SmackDown for a non-holiday first-run episode in the history

The only similar episode that did worse was the one broadcasted at New Year’s Eve in 2015. The episode which was the final SmackDown on Syfy and was still taped, had drawn 1.658 million viewers.

In comparison, the Raw episode also saw a decline with the show scoring 2.158 million viewers, down from last week’s 2.375 million viewers

  • philaman01

    I think the ratings drop for WWE is due to a confluence of things:

    1) Over-saturation of product;
    2) Competition from other media outlets;
    3) Lack of new fans interested in the product.

    Let’s look at it from a common-sense point of view. How many people have *5* hours per week to devote to watching WWE wrestling on TV? Or maybe another way to phrase the question is like this: *why* do people want to give up 5 hours of their free time to WWE on TV every week? Instead, I can just go on YT and watch a 5-10 minute highlight video to get all caught up on what I’ve missed!

  • Soulshroude

    While I agree with CC, we still need to take into regard any type of “streaming site”, and downloadable sites. This is a huge area that is overlooked when the average individual asks about the “ratings” game. Hell, I watch my WWe stuff for free from certain sites that will remain Anon. Which is why I don’t really watch television very much, any more. Most Anon streaming sites that aren’t part of the Dark Web, have an infinite number of possibilities (which include constant pop-ups that may be blocked), for channel surfing from anywhere around the globe.

  • jedi

    Becky unlikable on both shows might not be helping …..

  • Anutosh Bajpai

    Kofi is just one segment, the problem i believe is with the whole show. In the current era of internet, people don’t wait around for their favorite star or angle to be shown, they just watch it on youtube later on. If you want ratings, you’re gonna have to put a strong show top to buttom

  • CC

    The problem is WWE always want a fall guy. They did the same with Benoit and Guerrero back when they were champions, blaming them for loss of viewers. They will totally ignore the fact that viewing figures were down when AJ wore the belt, or Bryan or Reigns or Lesnar or whoever has worn either of the top titles in recent times. WWE just likes to scape goat people who are not the guys they pick to get over, and as Kofi was a fan choice, he will take the blame in their eyes.

  • CC

    I think the rise of MMA is a big part of it as well. In the 1990s when MMA started out the interest level was minimal compared to wrestling, but these days MMA does offer a strong alternative to wrestling.

    I do not think WWE needs to copy anything from MMA, but I think it shows that fans of this kind of entertainment do want something “different”, and I really do not know what that could be as wrestling as a medium has been done to death. Some people want more actual wresting, some want more engaging storylines but there are other promotions out there doing both of those things and are still not that successful.

    I think you are right that the format is stale, but I just do not see how they can change this.

  • Nicholas Giambattista

    I think WWE will try something different when they get to Fox but until then Smackdown is at a stand still. I believe WWE want to do very well on Fox because I believe the long term goal is to have both Raw and Smackdown on Fox.

  • Neil Bryson

    I think the truth is that wrestling has changed very little in the last 20 years and the format has become stale. It needs another big paradigm shift like Rock n Wrestling in the 80s or Attitude in the late 90s. I wasn’t a big fan of The Final Deletion but I take my hat off to Matt for trying something different. There needs to be more outside of the box thinking like that in pro wrestling if there’s ever going to be another boom period. I think WWE going public didn’t help matters – it’s hard to take risks when you have shareholders to appease. Maybe AEW have something up their sleeves?!

  • Sean Pratten

    I don’t even think this is Kofis fault. WWE is struggling altogether.

  • CC

    I really do not think any wrestling company will ever draw bigger numbers again. Even if they produced the greatest show ever, with some real holy crap moments, wrestling is no longer the big TV draw it was 20+ years ago. Factor in the internet with its illegal streams and a multitude of other entertainment forms that have sprung up over the years, and wrestling on TV is gonna suffer.
    All that said, right now WWE probably does better business internationally than it has ever done, and is why their focus on bringing in international stars and establishing international brands has been so prominent.
    While Vince and WWE booking still cannot get past the whole “foreigner = heel” mentality that dates back to the dawn of wrestling, the international market is where most of their money comes from these days.
    Yes they got a lot of money from Fox, but arenas outside the USA will generally sell tickets better than the half empty arenas in the USA for certain.