Wednesday Night Wars 08/26/2020 Ratings

Posted 08/28/2020
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AEW Dynamite
WWE Smackdown

Just like last week, Dynamite didn't air on its usual Wednesday night timeslot this week due to the NBA playoffs. So NXT and Dynamite avoided another week of head-to-head competition with NXT airing on Wednesdays and Dynamite airing on Thursday. This means the Wednesday Night Wars is once again put on hiatus this week. Here are the details on the two shows' ratings.

  • Like last week, NXT saw better than usual ratings with no competion from AEW this week. The ratings did fall compared to last week, though. The viewership fell from 853,000 last week to 824,000 this week. That's a drop of 3.4%. This show's 18-49 demographic rating remained the same as last week at 0.24.

  • Unlike last week, this week's episode of Dynamite aired on a weeknight during primetime. So it is not surprising that it got better ratings. The viewership increased from 755,000 viewers last week to 813,000 this week. That's an increase of 7.7%. Given that the two episodes aired on different days and different times, though, that comparison is not as meaningful. Interestingly, even though the audience grew, the 18-49 demographic rating actually decreased this week. It fell from 0.31 last week to 0.29 this week.

Previously, we theorized that Dyanmite's ratings may sipke this week despite not airing on its usual night. After all, not only would there be no competition from NXT, but the show will have a huge lead-in in the form of an NBA playoff game. But unfortuantely for AEW, the latter didn't occur since the NBA game was cancelled due to player protests. Still, this presented an interesting scenario of what might happen if the two wresting shows aired on different nights with all else being equal.

As seen in NXT's improved ratings these two weeks, the black and gold brand would definitely benefit if it wasn't directly competing with Dynamite every week. In the case of Dynamite, however, the ratings from these two weeks have been similar to what Dynamite usually gets on Wednesday nights. This shows that AEW has a loyal core fanbase who are willing to follow them to different nights of the week if neccessary. Just as interestingly, this also shows that airing unopposed wouldn't necessarilty mean a huge bump in Dynamite's ratings. So overall, it looks like NXT's ratings are hurting more with the two shows sharing the same timeslot.

If this conclusion is true, it would be very ironic since it was WWE that initiated this ratings wars to begin with. Long before the first episode of Dynamite actually aired, AEW had announced that the show would be airing on Wednesday nights at 8 PM on TNT. Soon after that AEW/TNT announcement, WWE announced that it would be moving NXT from Tuesday nights on the WWE network to Wednesdays nights on USA. Coincidence? Highly unliely because such a move makes total sense from a business perspective. WWE wanted to squash the new fledging promotion before it had a chance to build any momentum. But unfortunately for WWE, the plan backfired. Not only did NXT NOT stop the growth of AEW, Dynamite's consistently higher ratings now just makes NXT look inferior.

On a very interesting note, it will be NXT's turn to get preempted next week. The next episode of NXT will be airing on Tuesday instead of Wednesday due to an NHL game. So next week, we will see how NXT's and Dynamite's ratings fare when it is the WWE show that is moved from its original timeslot.

In regards to Raw and Smackdown this week, both shows saw huge boost in their ratings this week. This is most likely due to WWE's Summer Slam pay-per-view this past weekend.

  • The increase in Raw's ratings was dramatic to say the least. The size of its audience jumped by an enormous 23.5% as it grew from 1,643,000 viewers last week to 2,028,333 viewers this week. This is the first time Raw hit over 2 million viewers since the beginning of April. The show's 18-49 demographics rating also saw a huge boost. It went up from last week's 0.48 to this week's 0.67.

  • The improvement in Smackdown's ratings weren't as impressive as Raw's, but they were still very significant. The viewership jumped from 2,002,000 viewers last week to 2,198,000 viewers this week. That's a huge jump of 9.8%. However, even with the bigger audience, the show's 18-49 demographics rating remained the same as last week's at 0.6.

Like last week, because NXT and Dynamite aired on different days this week, the win-loss record in the Wednesday Night Wars remains unchanged. NXT's record continues to stand at 8-36-1 for viewership and 1-44 for the 18-49 demographic while Dynamite's record remains at 36-8-1 for viewership and 44-1 for the 18-49 demographic.

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