AEW and NXT both fall under 700,000 viewers, down in the key demo

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It was a rough week for both AEW and NXT as both shows were down in viewership in addition to double-digit declines in the core demographic.

AEW fell it its third-lowest viewership figure in history with 677,000 viewers on TNT and falling 7% from last week.

NXT was down 6% registering 673,000 viewers on the USA Network.

In the 18-49 demo, AEW was down 21% with 0.23 that still left them at 14th for the night on cable. The 0.23 is tied for AEW’s lowest number ever in the demo with the same rating as the May 13th episode last month.

NXT was down 20% in the demo with 0.16 and 35th on Wednesday’s cable programming.

MTV’s Challenge: Total Madness placed first while a NASCAR race likely ate into some of the pro wrestling audience as it was fifth for the night on cable and had 1,711,000 viewers.

AEW won all the key demos except for adults over 50 but it wasn’t a pretty picture. Females 12-34 were down 50% this week, adults 18-34 were down 44% after doing a strong performance in that category last week. Females 18-49 fell 28.5% and males 12-34 declined by 26%. Adults over 50 saw a 15% increase and was the only demo up this week.

NXT was hurt in the same category with females 12-34 down 43%, adults 18-34 fell 36% and males 18-49 dropped by 16%. The only category increasing was adults over 50 by 3%.

Here is a breakdown of the demos:

ADULTS 18-49
AEW: 0.23 (-21%)
NXT: 0.16 (-20%)

AEW: 0.15 (-28.5%)
NXT: 0.12 (-14%)

MALES 18-49
AEW: 0.31 (-16%)
NXT: 0.21 (-16%)

ADULTS 18-34
AEW: 0.10 (-44%)
NXT: 0.07 (-36%)


AEW: 0.06 (-50%)
NXT: 0.04 (-43%)

MALES 12-34
AEW: 0.14 (-26%)
NXT: 0.13 (-19%)

ADULTS 25-54
AEW: 0.28 (-15%)
NXT: 0.20 (-13%)

AEW: 0.31 (+15%)
NXT: 0.36 (+3%)

My biggest takeaway is that the viewers that one show loses aren’t switching to the other, they’re tuning out altogether. Maybe some can be attributed to the lack of live crowd and the pandemic in general, but I take it as a negative… it’s presumably harder to win fans that are willing to tune out of wrestling completely.

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In the latest RAD thread I was rather pessimistic about AEW’s rating chances this week. Well, I was right (not a good thing in this case). This week’s Dynamite may have engaged some hardcore fans, with FTR doing a fine job. But as I watched the show including the first match, it just felt like another specialist wrestling show.

There just aren’t that many hardcore wrestling fans. Network television needs celebrities, not workers. So watching AEW I kept wondering for whom (as a TV audience) the show was hoping to attract.

Turns out Dynamite beat NXT, but only by a few people, in total viewership. I had suspected that the inverse was going to be the results. Still, both shows are essentially tied and worse yet are slipping in total viewership. The pandemic has been hard on many businesses including entertainment.

I wonder when AEW will slip below 600k next. NXT too,

Id be interested to see the quarter hour breakdowns. I’d guess that people tuned out of AEW for that main event. Cody against a tag team guy who’s barely been on TV was a bad choice.

Inner Circle and Best Friends six man and ending the show off with the Orange Cassidy beat down would have been better. Also, they need more Moxley on TV