Shaq edition of Dynamite hits '21 viewership high, demo drops

Originally published at Shaq edition of Dynamite hits '21 viewership high, demo drops

It was a significant week for AEW Dynamite, hyping its episode around a special attraction of seeing Shaquille O’Neal wrestle and was a mixed bag.

AEW produced its higher viewership average of the year with 934,000 viewers while the 18-49 demo was a 0.33, down from last week and only its third-best mark of 2021. The show finished sixth among all cable programs for the night.

NXT countered with 692,000 viewers and a 0.20 in the 18-49 demo finishing 19th on cable. While its viewership dropped 6 percent, the demo figure rose 11 percent.

One significant swing was the 50+ viewership, which is a demographic NXT has dominated through the head-to-head battle. This week, it was AEW besting NXT in that demo with a 0.38 (its best rating in that category since an unopposed week in September) to NXT’s 0.32. AEW increased 31 percent in the 50+ demo while NXT dropped by 20 percent.

The shows were very competitive with its female audiences as AEW narrowly edged out NXT among women 18-49 and the two sides were equal among women 12-34.

AEW and NXT went against MTV’s The Challenge: Double Agents, which was the top cable program of the night, and an NBA game between the Brooklyn Nets and Houston Rockets that averaged 1,093,000 viewers and a 0.36 in the key demo.

The AEW Countdown to Revolution special that followed Dynamite finished with 347,000 viewers and a 0.12 in the 18-49 demo. The last time the countdown special immediately followed Dynamite on TNT, was last year’s preview for Revolution that did 383,000 viewers and a 0.14.

NXT is advertising two major title matches for next week with Finn Balor defending the NXT Championship against Adam Cole, and Io Shirai defending the NXT Women’s Championship against Toni Storm.

In Canada, AEW Dynamite was listed at 88,100 viewers on TSN2 with 42,300 in the 25-54 demographic. It is important to note that Dynamite also aired on TSN1 simultaneously. It is unknown if those figures are the combined viewership, or just for the TSN2 broadcast. NXT did not finish among the top ten sports programs and therefore, was below 73,600 viewers. Both programs went against the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Raptors vs. Detroit Pistons.

I am interested in the quarter hours if Meltzer puts it in the Observer tonight. Best guess is a Big opening for AEW and slides through the night. A fair guess would be 1.1 million to start and 700K by the main event. There’s been a weird trend where NXT actually starts high because NCIS at 7pm does 900k and gives NXT a big opening quarter I wonder what that’ll look like

I think NCIS has only been the lead in for the last week or two. Usually it’s movies on both nets.

So basically barring Punk or Brock showing up next week, does this seem like AEW’s relative ceiling so long as NXT is against them? This should have been the thing that got them over the million hump, you’d think, with whatever causal/older audience that exists out there and even with NXT falling a bit with an un-hyped show against them, they’re still short. There’s nothing wrong with it, but each time this happens, I wonder just how much of NXT/AEW is crossover and how much the audiences have just picked their shows. Guess we might have the chance to see soon, though.