SmackDown draws 2.9M viewers in 2nd week on Fox

October 12, 2019

WWE Friday Night Smackdown drew 2.90 million viewers on Fox per Nielsen via Television By Numbers.  The ratings reflect a drop from last week’s debut.

Friday night saw a 1.0 rating in the A18-49 and a 6 share in the overall audience.

The telecast is down from last Friday’s 3.87M viewers. This week CBS ruled Friday night ratings as an episode of Hawaii Five-O drew 6.95M overall viewers in the 8-9pm time slot, Magnum, P.I. grabbed 6.43M viewers from 9-10pm and although SmackDown did not go up against it, Blue Bloods hit 7.55M viewers from 10-11pm.

Payout Perspective:

A decrease is viewership of almost 1 million viewers has to be concerning.  Yet, the telecast is strong in the 18-49 demo which is a saving grace for the promotion as it hopes that it can attract viewers.  Yet, it seems that the fall on Friday night will be ruled by CBS and its original programming.

Cain Velasquez leaves UFC, signs with WWE

October 12, 2019

Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez has signed with World Wrestling Entertainment and has retired from the UFC.

Velasquez made an appearance on WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown Premiere when he came out with Rey Mysterio to confront Brock Lesnar.  At a press conference on Friday, it was announced that Velasquez had signed with the promotion and will face Brock Lesnar at WWE’s Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia on October 31st.

Although Velasquez has just a handful of pro wrestling matches under his belt, he has impressed with his agility and move set.  For an athlete that has experienced multiple injuries in mixed martial arts, his body seems rejuvenated for professional wrestling.

Also announced at the WWE press conference Friday was boxer Tyson Fury facing Braun Strowman.

Via MMA Junkie:

Payout Perspective:

In interviews, it sounds as though Velasquez is happy with this career move and is ready to move on from MMA.  While he has a lot to do to refine his pro wrestling, he has the notoriety, charisma and athletic ability to become a big star, similar to Lesnar, in WWE.

Friday night SmackDown debut on Fox draws 3.87M viewers, 8 share in A18-49 demo

October 5, 2019

The debut of Friday Night SmackDown on Fox drew 3.87 million viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  It also drew a 1.4 rating and an 8 share in the A18-49 demo.

Although the threshold for the debut may have been 4.5 million viewers (see below), the telecast was the highest rated in the A18-49 demo for the night on the networks.  It was third in total viewers in the 8-9pm time slot to Hawaii Five-O (6.93M) and The Blacklist (3.97M) (via Television By Numbers).  Yet, an 8 share was double of any other network show in either the 8-9 or 9-10 time slot.

Fox went big for the debut of SmackDown with the appearances of The Rock, boxer Tyson Fury and the surprise debut of Cain Velasquez.  Certainly, the ratings have to be pleasing for Fox which promoted it throughout all of its media and the WWE which likely proved its worth to the network on Friday night.  The question will be whether SmackDown can sustain this rating and surpass it to show an attractive expanse for the viewers.  If you are to look at interest based on twitter, there were a certain amount of people that had not watched wrestling in a while that found SmackDown.  Whether those viewers convert to regulars will be an interesting case study on how this goes for the television deal.