SmackDown experiences a big increase with return of live fans

Originally published at SmackDown experiences a big increase with return of live fans

The return of Friday Night SmackDown in front of a live audience resulted in the show’s best performance of the past six months on Fox.

Friday’s go-home edition of SmackDown from the Toyota Center in Houston averaged 2,310,000 viewers and 0.66 (852,000) in the 18-49 demographic, according to Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics.

The show was up 16.3 percent in viewers and increased over 36 percent in the key demographic.

The figures represent SmackDown’s best viewership mark since the January 23, 2021, edition of the show, which was an episode built around the tease of a match involving Adam Pearce and Paul Heyman throughout the program.

This past week’s show was also SmackDown’s best performance in the 18-49 demo since January 15.

In Canada, the show averaged 176,500 viewers and 86,900 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360 going against a Toronto Blue Jays vs. Texas Rangers baseball game. It was SmackDown’s highest audience in Canada since June 11th and up 31.7 percent in viewership from the week prior.

This doesn’t surprise me at all, I think many people underestimated the draw of fans. I’ve been a fan for almost 30 years and I struggled to watch some weeks. I have to image if it was hard for me, for some casuals it was impossible.

I’m over the thunder dome, I’m over wrestlers acting like they are fans, I’m over piped in sound, I’m over NXXtras, I’m over half a dozen fans in the upper deck at Dailey’s place…it’s nice to finally be back to normal.

Before someone gets upset, this isn’t a shot at AEW or WWE, they did what they had to do.