AEW finishes sixth on cable, NXT cracks the top thirty with increase

Originally published at AEW finishes sixth on cable, NXT cracks the top thirty with increase

An increase for NXT led to the gap in viewers being bridged with AEW Dynamite, although the latter finished well ahead in the key demographic.

With NXT in its full-fledged promotional push for the two-night TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, the show cracked the top thirty cable programs finishing with 678,000 viewers and 0.14 in the 18-49 demographic. The show increased 13.5 percent in viewers and 7.7 percent in the key demographic. The show featured an eight-minute overrun, which likely swelled the number featuring a show-closing contract signing between Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly for their Unsanctioned Match in two weeks.

AEW Dynamite topped NXT with 757,000 viewers and 0.30 in the 18-49 demo, finishing sixth among cable programs underneath MTV’s The Challenge: Double Agents and an NBA game between the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks on ESPN. Dynamite was highlighted by a TNT Championship match between Darby Allin and John Silver and a non-title bout involving AEW Champion Kenny Omega and Matt Sydal.

AEW saw a small decrease in viewership from last week’s average of 768,000 but the demo figure improved by 7 percent after slipping below 0.30 last week.

AEW was impacted by decreases among its 12-34 audience with females in that group down by 27 percent and tied its second-lowest rating in that demo for 2021. Men 12-34 fell by 7 percent as did adults 18-34. Females 18-49 reflected an increase of 13 percent this week.

NXT saw a return to form with its 50+ audience which hit 0.40 and was up by 18 percent but the largest gain was with men 18-49 that jumped 31 percent this week.

AEW won all the key demos against NXT except adults over the age of 50. However, the 12-34 demos were very close with AEW edging past NXT by 0.02 among females and 0.01 with males.

In Canada, neither program finished among the top ten sports programs and both were under 139,600 viewers. Wednesday’s sports schedule in Canada included a Toronto Raptors vs. Denver Nuggets game, Curling, two NHL games, and a Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees spring training game.

Here is a breakdown of the key demos between both shows:

Source: Showbuzz Daily

ADULTS 18-49
0.30 (+7 percent)
0.14 (+7.7 percent)

0.17 (+13 percent)
0.11 (-8 percent)

MALES 18-49
0.42 (-2 percent)
0.17 (+31 percent)

ADULTS 18-34
0.13 (-7 percent)
0.08 (Even)

0.08 (-27 percent)
NXT: 0.06 (-14 percent)

MALES 12-34
0.14 (-7 percent)
NXT: 0.13 (+18 percent)

ADULTS 25-54
0.35 (+3 percent)
NXT: 0.19 (+19 percent)

0.28 (-10 percent)
0.40 (+18 percent)

Actually thought NXT was the better show last night. Just feels like a way hotter show with Takeover coming up fast.

One change recently is that AEW’s big lead among the young (12-34) demo has gone away. We can try to guess why, but that has happened. AEW’s best drawing demo appears to be the male 35-49 range.

If we take out special editions of Dynamite & NXT then the lack of growth is quite obvious. NXT by design is supposed to be a non-mainstream wrestling show so WWE can also have something for people that want serious wrestling but Dynamite are trying their best to be mainstream by signing recognisable WWE names and working with famous celebrities so the question should be asked as to why AEW can’t capitalise on the initial interest that’s brought in by bringing those people in.

It’s kind of hard to buy into the general narrative they try to give off as a company for their progress when ultimately the show is 50-100K lower than it was a year ago. It’s not a death knell by any means (especially if TNT is fine with these results), but in reality things aren’t moving in a straight line upwards like everyone just kind of assumed they would. Critiques often are seen in a negative light when discussing products, most of the time for good reason, but there’s probably a time coming where their results need to be compared to themselves more than the competition they’re against to see what kind of growth is occurring.

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NXT moving nights is a mental decision. Makes no sense