SmackDown on FS1 narrowly edges AEW Rampage in 18-49 demo

Originally published at SmackDown on FS1 narrowly edges AEW Rampage in 18-49 demo

The experimental “30-Minute War” between Friday Night SmackDown and AEW Rampage resulted in an ultra-close race in the key demographic.

According to Showbuzz Daily, AEW out-performed SmackDown on FS1 in Males 18-49, and Adults 18-34 with both sides posting equal ratings in Females 12-34 and Adults 25-54.

The special 2 ½ hour episode of Friday Night SmackDown, airing on FS1 due to Fox’s coverage of the MLB playoffs, averaged 866,000 with and 314,000 (0.24) in the 18-49 demographic, per the Pro Wrestling Torch and Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

The same outlets report that AEW Rampage on TNT averaged 578,000 viewers and 313,000 (0.24) for the 60-minute show that ran against the final 30 minutes of SmackDown.

As noted first by Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics, SmackDown finished third for the night on cable and Rampage fourth with the 18-49 difference only coming down to a difference of 1,000 viewers.

Both programs went against Game 1 of the ALCS on Fox that averaged 6,136,000 viewers 0.94 in 18-49 as well as ESPN’s coverage of the Clemson vs. Syracuse game that averaged 2,115,000 and 0.50, which was the top cable program of the night. California vs. Oregon immediately followed at 10:40 p.m. ET against the final twenty minutes of Rampage and did 1,446,000 and 0.40.

The Torch reports that during the 10-10:30 p.m. ET head-to-head portion, Rampage did 328,000 viewers in 18-48 compared to 285,000 on Friday Night SmackDown.

Meltzer noted that SmackDown also did 89,000 viewers and 17,000 in 18-49 on two Fox affiliates that carried SmackDown in New York and Chicago on Friday.

Let’s go @AEW fans! I’m excited to see head-to-head half hour numbers from last Friday, soon we’ll know. Most of all, I’m looking forward to another great weekend of wrestling this weekend! See you for #AEWRampage Friday + #AEWDynamite one more Saturday before back to Wednesdays!

— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) October 18, 2021

Rampage was coming off its lowest number to date for the October 8th episode but increased 15 percent in overall viewers and 39 percent in 18-49. While Rampage was up significantly this week from last week, it was still the show’s second-lowest figures in its short history but had the unique factor of head-to-head competition that other Rampage episodes didn’t face.

Friday Night SmackDown was promoted as a “super-sized” edition that included an appearance by Brock Lesnar and a match between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks with the final 30 minutes airing commercial-free on FS1 against Rampage with a replay airing on FS1 immediately after the live broadcast.

In Canada, SmackDown averaged 166,400 viewers and 62,900 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360, which were their highest numbers in Canada since September 10th. AEW Rampage streamed live on TSN Direct but did not air on television, so we don’t have a comparison.

Here is a breakdown of the key demos on Showbuzz Daily:

ADULTS 18-49
SmackDown: 0.24 or 314,000
Rampage: 0.24 or 313,000 (+39 percent from last week)

Rampage: 0.14 (+27 percent)

MALES 18-49
Rampage: 0.34 (+42 percent)

ADULTS 18-34
Rampage: 0.17 (+112.5 percent)


Rampage: 0.10 (+43 percent)

MALES 12-34
Rampage: 0.16 (+45.5 percent)

ADULTS 25-54
Rampage: 0.28 (+40 percent)

Rampage: 0.21 (+5 percent)