AEW Dynamite falls to lowest viewership since 2021, ranks sixth on cable

Originally published at AEW Dynamite falls to lowest viewership since 2021, ranks sixth on cable

For this week’s episode, AEW Dynamite dropped to its lowest viewership figures in several years.

The May 15 edition from Everett, Washington, averaged 672,000 viewers and 298,000 viewers (0.23) in the 18-49 demographic, which ranked sixth among cable originals on Wednesday. (Data courtesy: PWTorch and F4WOnline)

It was Dynamite’s lowest viewership average since January 6, 2021, and its lowest 18-49 audience since June 24, 2020.

Dynamite aired against the Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (3,383,000 viewers and a 1.0 rating in the demo) and the Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars (1,558,000 and 0.45).

The viewership dropped by six percent this week while the core demographic decreased by seven percent.

Adults 18-34 fell from 95,000 viewers to 82,000 this week for a fourteen percent decline.

Adults 35-49 fell by four percent to 216,000 viewers.

Wrestlenomics reports that the peak quarter was the opening fifteen minutes with 753,000 viewers for Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson vs. Jeff Cobb & Kyle Fletcher and the peak in the 18-49 demographic from 8:45 to 9 p.m. ET with 312,000 viewers for promos involving Timeless Toni Storm and Malakai Black, HOOK vs. Sebastian Wolfe, and the post-match angle with Chris Jericho and Big Bill.

The show included a twelve-minute overrun segment, which increased the audience by two percent and the demo by six percent from the prior quarter.

In Canada, the show averaged 98,400 viewers and 53,900 in the 25-54 demographic on TSN 2 and ranked tenth among sports programming on Wednesday. The audience was down by eleven percent from last week but the demo grew by eight percent.

 

I really enjoyed last night’s show so it’s too bad about the rating. I think they’d be doing better for themselves if a show like that were the norm. I think a lot of AEW’s current woes have to do with Punk doing a lot of damage to their reputation, and WWE getting its groove back. WWE being “cool” again on its own I think presents a major struggle for anyone else trying to keep the attention of wrestling fans.

That said I think AEW do have a lot of weaknesses right now that I really wish they would address. Last night’s show felt very focused and a lot of their current feuds hit good beats that were fun to watch but there are still things about it. I still go into every Dynamite with pretty low expectations in terms of who is gonna show up, what threads they’re gonna follow up on. I really hate that Swerve countdown they did, and when they did it with the Punk footage before. Of all concepts to borrow from WWE’s toolbox that’s the one? And I hate that somehow Moxley just feels like a NJPW import with no real connection to AEW. Strong “Dean Ambrose’s last months in WWE” vibes with Moxley right now which is so sad. I just wish they were more consistent with their storylines and cast of characters.

How did the Elite do for numbers :zipper_mouth_face:

I think this number is more indicative of how low cable viewership was for the day, vs the show itself.

Outside of the playoffs which ranked above the episode, it did double the demo of anything on cable for the entire day.

I’d assume once the playoffs are done, they’ll be regularly ranking no. 1 for the night. And, they’ll be gaining back a couple hundred thousand viewers a week.

My guess is they’ll run Blood and Guts, or something big, the first unopposed week, to get eyeballs back on them, and set themselves up for the summer.

They need to be working toward that “return” show. The NBA and NHL Playoffs are always going to be there in May-June, so the ratings during that time are likely always going to dip. But the fact is that their numbers are significantly down compared to this time last year, or any other way that you slice it, as they are building to one of the colder pay-per-views in their history (yes, the matches will be fine). If they don’t make a big splash going into the summer – they averaged 914K in 2022 and 861K in 2023 – I don’t know when it’s going to happen.

The big difference for me this time is that it’s not just that the ratings are dropping – that can happen short term for a lot of reasons. But the shows haven’t been good lately. And while ratings and show quality aren’t always a direct correlation, we’ve seen it happen with WWE. A long stretch of bad TV can lead to an even longer (possibly irreparable) drop in fan interest.

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I’d say they are building up to that show (and summer) with the building of the civil war storyline (EVPs and their supporters vs. AEW). I think moreso now than ever, there is a larger story building throughout everything that happens on the show. Something AEW hasn’t ever done before.

But I understand what you’re saying and the concerns.

The biggest issue is that Cable homes are decreasing at a very fast rate. Less than 50% of homes in the US subscribe. So live viewership will continue to decrease on these traditional methods, for most programming. (Aside from the major sports leagues it seems).

By this time next year, realistically, assuming AEW remains with WBD, their next contract will likely include simulcasting both on Cable and on MAX. Which again, will change the way numbers look.

WWE is also down year-over-year but the bigger issue with AEW is the creative.

Ratings are down, attendance is down, buzz is down and creative is wildly inconsistent. Usually this would lead to a new booker or a new direction but there is no faith that TK will change.

When in the last 20 years a booker changed for a major company because of ratings?

That’s not really a fair comparison, because the only major promotion over the past 20 years was WWE and the owner was the booker.

Now if your point is that an owner is not going to remove themselves, I agree. Billionaires that are able to do whatever they want without consequence rarely blame themselves as endless money will do that to a person. Especially if they were born into it.

New Japan, ROH and Impact have all changed bookers in the last 20 years.

And it’s not just ratings. I actually think their ratings are not bad. But live attendance is bad. They book buildings that are way too big and don’t announce what is happening until the day before.

Collision or even ROH should be given creatively to someone else. It all feels the same and it’s not working

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