Originally published at AEW Rampage falls on cable against heavy news coverage
AEW Rampage was impacted by the plethora of cable news coverage on Friday night and fell to #46 among cable originals.
The February 25th taped edition of the show from Connecticut averaged 473,000 viewers and approximately 235,000 (0.18) in the 18-49 demographic, per Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics and Showbuzz Daily.
The cable numbers were dominated by news programming on Friday with coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and greatly impacted Rampage’s placement on the chart. AEW also went against the first 45 minutes of the NBA game between the Lakers and Clippers, which finished #1 on cable with 0.50 in 18-49 and 1,384,000 viewers on ESPN.
The comparisons are with last week’s episode that aired outside of the normal 10 p.m. ET time slot and ran three hours earlier on TNT.
The show dropped ten percent in the 18-49 demographic, representing its second-lowest demo average in the show’s history and only topping an episode from October 8th that went against the Major League Baseball playoffs. Compared to two weeks ago, they only fell by 6.5 percent.
Rampage was hurt by a 31 percent decline in adults 18-34 with sizable drops among both males and females in the demo. If you compare to two weeks ago in the same timeslot, Rampage was down 42 percent this week in the demo.
The 50+ audience did a 0.19 rating, its lowest since New Year’s Eve, and would explain the loss of overall viewers from what Rampage was doing in its regular slot.
Two weeks ago, in its normal slot, Rampage averaged 549,000 and 0.19 in 18-49 and ranked #10 among cable originals.
So it was in its normal time slot, it was down against last week’s episode which was outside its normal time slot and Smackdown wasn’t really impacted. Seems a stretch to attribute the drop to the news. More likely given the constantly erratic and volatile viewership is that it’s just not an appealing show, even to the hardcore AEW fans.
Two weeks ago, Rampage was tenth for the night and beat by three news programs. The weeks before that #7, #9, #6 for the night.
This week, they were #46 and were beat out by 37 different news programs and had their lowest 50+ audience of the year.
Is it your conclusion when all of the news outlets are back to normal levels that AEW will still be #46? Of course not.
It was a great number for SmackDown to hold up as it did - as it was for Rampage to grow its demo number last week when it was in an unfamiliar slot and airing at 4 p.m. on the West Coast.
Correct. My point is that Smackdown ratings operate in a very small deviation range from their average (approximately +/- 3% in 2022 so far) and have been remarkably consistent week to week over the period since they moved to Fox, regardless of their competition on the same night.
Rampage on the other hand has a much larger deviation range from their average (approximately +/- 10% in 2022 so far) and an even bigger disparity between their highest and lowest numbers and their trend is downwards.
Surely you must acknowledge that despite Smackdown not really offering anything compelling other than Brock and Roman they still manage to attract a consistent audience regardless of the competition whereas Rampage fails to and that could be attributed to the content of the show?
There is no argument that SmackDown held up better against the news coverage - we saw the same on Jan. 6 last year when Dynamite was affected more than NXT.
The range of 18-49 viewers between Rampage’s highest and lowest this year prior to last week was 75,000 viewers, it’s hardly a wild series of swings they are seeing in the most important category.
You have to throw out last week’s number because of the time change and you can’t use this week as evidence of the show’s declining popularity with the obvious circumstances.
It was a bad number for Rampage and if its 18-34 audience remains at this level, it’s a larger concern.