SmackDown scores largest audience since 2020, huge 18-34 audience

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Friday Night SmackDown scored its largest viewership in nearly two years this past Friday topping 2.5 million viewers.

The September 23rd edition of the show from Salt Lake City averaged 2,535,000 viewers and approximately 819,000 (0.63) in the 18-49 demographic, per Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics and Showbuzz Daily.

It was the largest viewership for SmackDown since Christmas Day 2020 which was assisted by a gigantic lead-in by the NFL that led to SmackDown topping three million viewers that night. In terms of a normal episode to compare, it would be SmackDown’s highest viewership since March 20, 2020, one week after the empty arena shows began at the Performance Center and featured Rob Gronkowski which averaged 2,569,000 viewers.

It was SmackDown’s second-highest 18-49 audience of the year behind the January 21st episode.

The show saw a massive spike among adults 18-34 that were up by 52% from last week and their strongest number in that demo all year.

Males 18-49 were up by 37% this week and adults 35-49 grew by 13%, which was all due to the male viewership growing in that demo.

The number has to be attributed to the online campaign of the “White Rabbit” hints at both live events and using a QR code on Monday’s Raw that promoted “9:23” but didn’t have a payoff on Friday’s show.

The show also saw the return of Roman Reigns with The Bloodline, which occupied the first segment of the show that lasted 18-minutes.

SmackDown was the top show on all of television on Friday and soundly topped ABC’s Shark Tank (0.48) and programming on Univision (0.41) among the top network programs for the night.

In Canada, the show averaged approximately 142,000 viewers and 58,000 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360 and was down 21.5% in viewers and dropped 27.5% in the demo from last week’s numbers.