Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2021/12/06/friday-night-smackdown-falls-to-lowest-figures-since-july/
The return of Brock Lesnar did not lift SmackDown, which fell to its lowest figures since the return of live fans.
The December 3rd edition of the show went against the Pac-12 football game between Oregon and Utah and finished with 2,030,000 viewers and approximately 666,000 (0.51) in the 18-49 demographic, the lowest since July 9th for the program. The figures come courtesy of Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics and Showbuzz Daily.
July 9th was the final week where SmackDown aired from the ThunderDome and did 1,917,000 viewers and 625,000 in 18-49.
The football game appeared to play a big part and was the top program on television on Friday with 4,247,000 viewers and 0.95 in 18-49 airing against SmackDown and Rampage.
SmackDown dropped 5.5 percent in overall viewers and declined 10 percent in the key demo. In 18-34, it fell 26 percent from last week’s show.
WWE was topped by the Pac-12 coverage on ABC, and an episode of S.W.AT. on CBS among network programs for the night. They also faced competition from the NBA with the Philadelphia vs. Atlanta game averaging 1,211,000 and 0.41 on ESPN.
SmackDown was promoted around the return of Brock Lesnar from his storyline suspension and first appearance since October. During the episode, they announced a rare Universal Championship match with Roman Reigns defending against Sami Zayn in the main event. The match was more angle than a match but was promoted throughout the episode.
In Canada, SmackDown averaged 155,200 viewers and 53,600 in the 25-54 demographic compared to 144,000 and 72,500 the week prior. SmackDown was fifth among sports programs that night in both viewership and demo.