Wednesday Night Wars 08/19/2020 Ratings

Posted 08/25/2020
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AEW Dynamite
WWE Smackdown

As most who follow the Wedneday night ratings know, Dynamite was preempted last week due to the NBA playoffs. Instead of its usual Wednesday night timeslot, the show aired on Saturday evening around 6:30. Thus, there was no ratings war last week. But still, here are the details in the ratings for the both NXT and Dynamite.

  • With no competition from AEW this week, we saw the ratings for NXT spike. The viewership went up a staggering 37.8% as it shot up from 619,000 viewers last week to 853,000 viewers this week. Similarly, NXT's 18-49 demographics leaped from 0.16 last week to a much higher 0.24 this week.

  • Compared to the previous Wednesday, last week's Saturday edition of Dynamite saw a notable decrease in the ratings. But given that Saturday evenings generally have a much smaller television audience and Dynamite didn't even air during prime time, a drop is not surprising at all. The size of the audience fell from 792,000 viewers to 755,000 viewers. That's a drop of 4.7%. The show's 18-49 demographics rating fell as well. It went down from 0.32 to 0.31.

This is the first time NXT ran unopposed on a Wednesday night since Dynamite debuted back in October. And as seen in last week's ratings, NXT greatly benefited from it. This is good news for WWE in more ways than one. This shows that at least part of the AEW audience will watch NXT if Dynamite wasn't available. In other words, it is not that they are opposed to NXT. They just prefer Dynamite in a head-to-head battle. So that audience could be swayed to watch NXT if WWE produced a better product.

At the same time, the ratings last week can be seen as good news for Dynamite as well. Even though Dynamite did see a drop in the ratings compared to the previous week, they were still within the range of Dynamite's usual ratings. This shows that a large portion of AEW fans were loyal enough to follow the show to Saturday night. Or, Dynamite was able to retain some of the audience from the NBA playoffs which aired just before the AEW show. Or, it could have been a combination of both. Whatever the case is, given that this episode aired on a Saturday, wasn't aired during prime time, and was delayed by around half an hour due to the NBA game running over, this episode's ratings can only be considered as positive. In fact, TNT executives are reportedly very happy with the show's ratings as it came in at #5 in Saturday's top rated cable shows.

Once again, this week's Dynamite will be preempted on Wednesday night due to the NBA playoffs. But this time, the show will be moved to Thursday instead of Saturday. This will be very interesting in that Thursday usually attracts a much larger television audience than Saturday. Plus, the show is scheduled to start at 8 PM (prime time), and it will once again have an NBA playoff game as a lead-in. All these factor could mean huge ratings for Dynamite.

As for Raw and Smackdown, the blue brand continue to show improvement while the red brand saw a significant dip.

  • It may be the case that new segments like Retribution and Raw Underground have already run thier course as Raw lost a siginficant portion of its audience this week. The size fell from 1,722,000 viewers last week to 1,643,000 viewers this week. That's a drop of 4.6%. The Monday night show's 18-49 demographics rating, however, actually went up. There was a small bump from last week's 0.47 to this week's 0.48.

  • Unlike Raw, Smackdown's ratings improved this week. The viewership increased from 1,962,000 last week to 2,002,000 viewers this week. That's an increase of 2.0%. As for the show's 18-49 demographics rating, Smackdown finally broke the monotony after five weeks of remaining at 0.5. This week, the show drew an improved rating of 0.6 instead.

Again, since NXT and Dynamite aired on different days last week, the win-loss record in the Wednesday Night Wars will not be updated. So NXT's record remains at 8-36-1 for viewership and 1-44 for the 18-49 demographic. Similarly, Dynamite's record remains at 36-8-1 for viewership and 44-1 for the 18-49 demographic. The question now is what will happen with this week's rating with both shows airing on a weekday and once again running unopposed.

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