AEW up 7% in viewers, NXT drops slightly and hits lowest 18-49 mark

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Photo courtesy: Lee South/AEW

With both AEW and NXT going against a NASCAR race, there were mixed results with AEW showing an improvement over last week’s all-time low and a small decrease for NXT.

After last week’s low figure, AEW was up 7% in viewers with 701,000 watching the go-home episode leading into Double or Nothing this weekend. The show finished seventh among all cable programming with a 0.26 in the 18-49 demo representing a gain of 13%.

NXT fell 2% with 592,000 viewers on the USA Network and outside of the top fifty cable programs, which means we don’t have a breakdown of all the key demos. The show did a 0.13 in the 18-49 demo, which was below this week’s episode of Dark Side of the Ring covering Owen Hart on Vice TV.

The NASCAR race on FS1 averaged 2,087,000 viewers and a 0.34 for third place among cable programming. ESPN re-aired Game 6 of the NBA Finals from 1998 between the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz with a cinematic presentation that attracted 608,000 viewers and was fourth.

Female viewership for AEW increased 23.5% among those 18-49 and 20% with females 12-34. They have several large decreases with men 12-34 falling 27% and adults 18-34 down 14%.

If you eliminate NXT’s “Best of” show from New Year’s Day, this week would represent the show’s fourth-lowest viewership since beginning on the USA Network last September. However, in the key 18-49 demographic, this week’s 0.13 would be the lowest the show has done on USA Network.

Here is a breakdown of the demos, although we don’t have the data for NXT due to their placement:

ADULTS 18-49
AEW: 0.26 (+13%)
NXT: 0.13 (-13%)

AEW: 0.21 (+23.5%)

MALES 18-49
AEW: 0.31 (+11%)

ADULTS 18-34
AEW: 0.12 (-14%)

AEW: 0.12 (+20%)

MALES 12-34
AEW: 0.11 (-27%)

ADULTS 25-54
AEW: 0.31 (+19%)

AEW: 0.28 (+4%)

I think AEW had some good will regarding quality of previous good episodes so that could be a reason for the jump. But they can’t keep on having episodes like this but in fairness they have demonstrated in the past that they can adapt

NXT is reaping what it’s sowed really.

But ratings are just erratic, you just don’t know what’s going to happen each week

Ooof, brutal demo number for NXT. Just feels like an ice cold product to me

I agree NXT has really struggled to get compelling stories going in 2020. The burned through all the matches for Cole, the tag division has just been continuously pillaged by the main roster. The stars that were hot at the end of last year have gone cold.

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The problem for any wrestling company, is what usually makes something “hot” is when a story/wrestler etc. catches on with the live crown. Right now, it so hard to tell what is working vs what is not. Of course we can all tell what works for us, or whats working for this forum, but its hard to tell what would be working for the masses. I can’t wait for crowds to be back (when its safe of course).

I think NXT issues with what I said started prior to lockdown, and have simply been exacerbated by it.

Keith Lee was super hot around Survivor series, then went into the NA title picture and feuded with the same guys multiple times.

Ripley was super hot up through winning the title but they had no next program for her.

The tag division has had no teams in it for a long time, and they continue to lose teams faster than they create them.

Cole hasn’t had a really well built feud since gargano. They ran through Riddle with no build, Balor with no build, and used the minimal build with Ciampa to set up the Gargano vs Ciampa match.

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The Kross debut and introduction has been good but the Gargano character is just brutal. I’m just not sure what else there is to do with him because he will never succeed on the main roster and has done basically everything on NXT.

Lee, Riddle, Grimes and Dijak should all be in the title picture. And I think it’s about time something changes with UE. Maybe Cole turns face or O’Reilly.

The women’s division seems a bit lost with Charlotte fighting on every show and beating everyone. Tag division is really non existent

Not sold on main event Dijak, he hasn’t impressed me as a character yet. I have felt for a while that when Balor heel turned that perhaps he should have usurped the leadership of UE from Cole. Then face turn Cole. The women have seemed lost since Ripley won. It felt like they should have built up Dakota to be the heel challenging for the title by having her best Knox. I think Shayna hid some of the flaws in the division as far as feuds go. It was easy to set up Shayna matches. Everyone wants to see the dominant heel lose. Once the title was off her I think there wasn’t the same routing interest behind Ripley because the heel depth chart wasn’t very deep.