Wednesday Night Wars 03/11/2020 Ratings

Posted 03/13/2020
Viewers
2.5 mil
2 mil
1.5 mil
1 mill
0.5 mil
Oct '19
Nov '19
Dec '19
Jan '20
Feb '20
Mar '20
AEW Dynamite
WWE NXT
WWE Raw
WWE Smackdown
Viewers
2.5 mil
2 mil
1.5 mil
1 mill
0.5 mil
Oct '19
Nov '19
Dec '19
Jan '20
Feb '20
Mar '20
AEW Dynamite
WWE NXT
WWE Raw
WWE Smackdown
Viewers
2.5 mil
2 mil
1.5 mil
1 mill
0.5 mil
Oct '19
Nov '19
Dec '19
Jan '20
Feb '20
Mar '20
AEW Dynamite
WWE NXT
WWE Raw
WWE Smackdown

Last week, we commented that the two Wednesday night wrestling shows' ratings are beginning to level off. But in retrospect, we may have spokem too soon as Dynamite's ratings took a huge tumble this week. Taking everything into consideration, though, this week may not be the most accurate week for detecting any kind of pattern. The nation is currently preoccupied with the Coronavirus hitting the U.S., and its television viewing habits have been affected. For example, some of the highest ratings of the evening went to news specials featuring President Trump addressing the nation on the virus. And given that AEW has a younger audience in general, their attention being more readily grabbed by current events is not surprising. The ratings for NXT wasn't affected as much as those of Dynamite, but they fell as well. So despite the huge drop in the AEW show's ratings, it was still able to edge out a victory this week. (See graph above.)

Dynamite's audience fell from 906,000 last to 766,000 this week. That's a tremendous 15.5 percent drop. The show hasn't seen such a big drop since 2019. But again, given the Coronavirus, this decrease doesn't necessarily mean the show is in trouble. Although this episode didn't include any championship or gimmick matches, it was still a solid show. In the 18-49 demographic ratings, Dynamite saw a huge drop as well. It fell from 0.35 all the way to 0.26. This is the show's lowest 18-49 rating in 2020. Once again, though, no one should draw any conclusions from this given the current global pandemic.

As for NXT, for the first time ever, the show hailed from the WWE Performance Center instead of the usual Full Sail University this week. Ironically, this was unrelated to the ongoing health crisis. Instead, the university needed the venue itself to present its own annual Hall of Fame event. This change didn't seem to have much of an impact on NXT's ratings. As mentioned, they did fall, but it was only by 2.9 percent. It fell from 718,000 last week to 697,000 this week. In terms of the 18-49 demographics rating, it fell from 0.23 to 0.21. The show featured a North American Champion match, a Tag Team Championship match, and an appearance by Charlotte Flair. But none of these factors led to an increase in ratings. Like with Dynamite, though, no conclusions should be drawn from this since everyone's attention is on the Coronavirus right now.

The next few weeks will be interesting for the Wednesday Night Wars. Due to COVID-19, the venue for the upcoming episodes of Raw, Smackdown, and Dynamite have already been changed. And since local governments have started banning large scale events to limit the continued spread of the virus, these shows will be held with a limited audience. It is unclear exactly what this means yet. But as most wrestling fans know, a large part of the watching experience stems from the crowd reaction at these shows. So without a large audience, these shows will most likely lose a lot of its luster.

On a broader scale, the wrestling industry as a whole is already getting negatively impacted by the potentially deadly virus. With the previously mentioned ban on large gatherings, many local events from various wrestling promotions have been getting cancelled. This means lost ticket sales and no merchandise purchases across the board. There is now even talk of Wrestlemania 36 getting cancelled. One might think that this is just a WWE problem. However, many wrestling events have already been scheduled in the Tampa, Florida area since Wrestlemania usually brings in wrestling fans from around the world. So if something does indeed happen to Wrestlemania, plenty of other businesses besides the WWE will be impacted.

Let's all hope that the Coronavirus will be contained soon. Its spread seems to have peaked in China, so there may already be light at the end of the tunnel. Until then, though, the ratings for the Wednesday Night Wars will most likely waver as the whole wrestling industry is stifled. But just for the record, this week's results make the win-loss record for Dynamite 19-3-1 for viewership and 22-1 for the 18-49 demograhics rating. For NXT, the record becomes 3-19-1 for viewership and 1-22 for the 18-49 demographics.

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