Wednesday Night Wars 09/02/2020 Ratings

Posted 09/04/2020
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AEW Dynamite
WWE Smackdown

During the previous two weeks, Dynamite didn't air during its regular Wednesday night timeslot due to the NBA playoffs. Coincidentally, now that Dynamite has returned to Wednesday night this week, it is now NXT's turn to be preempted. Due to the NHL playoffs, NXT aired on Tuesday night this week and will do so again next week. So this is the third week where the two shows aired unopposed, and the ratings reflect this. Here are the ratings for this week's Dynamite and NXT.

  • Back in its regular timeslot but with no opposition from NXT this week, Dyanmite saw a very big jump in the ratings. The audience grew from 813,000 viewers last week to 928,000 this week. That's a huge jump of 14.1%. Correspondingly, there was also a huge jump in this episode's 18-49 demographics rating as it went up from 0.29 last week to 0.36 this week.

  • Although NXT's ratings weren't as high as Dynamite's, they were still very impressive in that they actually increased from last week despite NXT not airing in its regular timeslot this week. The viewership increased from 824,000 last week to 849,000 this week. That's an increase of 3.0%. As for the show's 18-49 demographics rating, it also improved, going up from 0.24 last week to 0.26 this week.

As can be seen in the graph above, both Dynamite and NXT have benefited from not airing in the same timeslot in terms of ratings. This week's Dynamite garnered an audience of almost 930,000 viewers, its largest audience in almost six months. NXT's improvement in the ratings is even more noticeable. During the past three weeks where the two shows weren't competing, NXT consistently had an audience of over 820,000 viewers, and the WWE show hasn't had an audience of over 800,000 viewers since 2019.

With the uptick in NXT's ratings durig the past three weeks, there are now rumors that the USA network wants to move NXT to a different night in favor of the significantly better ratings. Although WWE wanted NXT to be on Wednesdays to hold back AEW, that plan is obviously not working. The AEW show comes out ahead with a larger audience most of the time, and it almost always has a much higher rating in the 18-49 demographic. So NXT is really just slowing down the growth of AEW at most instead of stopping it. If WWE concentrated on the growth of NXT itself instead of how to use it against Dynamite, it might actually be benficial for WWE in the long run.

Over on Monday and Friday nights, Raw and Smackdown both saw a dip in their ratings. This is most likely due to the fact that two shows are no longer receiving a ratings bump from Summerslam. Here are the details.

  • Raw saw a giant leap in the ratings last week. So the fact that they dropped back down this week is not surprising. The number of viewers went down from 2,028,000 last week to 1,896,333 this week. That's a drop of 6.5%. This decrease isn't as large as last week's increase, though, so Raw's ratings are still on an upswing on average. In regards to the show's 18-49 demographics rating, it went down from 0.67 last week to 0.58 this week.

  • Smackdown's drop in the ratings wasn't as significant as Raw's. Its audience only shrank by about 2.5%. It decreased from 2,198,000 viewers last week to 2,144,000 viewers this week. And for the third week in a row, the Friday night show's 18-49 demographics rating remained at 0.6.

With all the preempting of Dynamite and NXT, the Wednesday Night Wars is pretty much in a holding pattern at this point. And with NXT airing on Tuesday again next week, there will be no head-to-head competition between the two shows until September 16th at the earliest. Until then, both shows continue to thrive with the lack of direct competition.

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