Originally published at Friday Night SmackDown declines, still tops network programming
On a night with heavy competition from the NBA, Friday Night SmackDown finished on top among its network competition.
The April 22nd edition of SmackDown from Albany, New York averaged 1,952,000 viewers and approximately 612,000 (0.47) in the 18-49 demographic, according to Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics and Showbuzz Daily.
SmackDown managed to beat out the competition on the other networks despite posting its lowest overall viewership and 18-49 audience since July 2, 2021, during the ThunderDome era of the program.
Compared with last week, SmackDown’s overall viewership dropped by nine percent with its 18-49 audience dropping by two percent, and 18-34 declining by 20 percent. They did experience a nine percent growth in the 35-49 audience.
The show topped NBC’s Dateline (4,002,000 viewers and 0.46 in 18-49) and the NBA on ABC (1,277,000 viewers and 0.45 in 18-49).
WWE was not first overall as they were below ESPN’s coverage of the NBA playoffs, which included back-to-back games.
SmackDown featured a contract signing between Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey and a lumberjack match between Drew McIntyre and Sami Zayn. This Friday’s episode is a rare taped edition of the show due to the SmackDown crew being in the U.K. The show was taped on Friday in Albany and includes a steel cage match between McIntyre and Zayn and Ricochet defends the Intercontinental title against Shanky.
In Canada, SmackDown was hit hard against the Toronto Blue Jays’ game as well as two NBA playoff games and two NHL games going on that night. SmackDown fell to #10 among sports programs with 122,900 viewers and 31,200 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360. Its overall audience fell 28 percent while the demo plunged 61 percent from the previous week.