SmackDown viewership steady, drops in the key demo

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WWE’s final broadcast before WrestleMania saw Friday Night SmackDown stay steady from the week prior but did fall in the 18-49 demographic.

The overnight figures see SmackDown averaging 2,375,000 viewers over the two hours. It’s nearly identical with last week’s number of 2,367,000, which was SmackDown’s lowest in 2020.

The first hour averaged 2,407,000 viewers with a large portion dedicated to the WrestleMania 24 re-airing of Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair from 2008. The second hour averaged 2,342,000 viewers concluding with John Cena’s appearance to close the show.

The show did lose ground in the 18-49 demographic with a 0.6 average that fell behind ABC’s Shark Tank and 20/20 and CBS’ Hawaii Five-O, MacGyver, and Blue Bloods and equal to NBC’s prime-time programming.

The show advertised an appearance by John Cena to respond to Bray Wyatt’s challenge for the Firefly Fun House match and a Miz TV segment. Earlier in the week, they promoted a face-to-face segment between Bill Goldberg and Roman Reigns, presumably to feature some angle to insert Braun Strowman into the WrestleMania match but the segment with Goldberg and Reigns never aired and they had stopped advertising it. Instead, Michael Cole just noted Strowman was replacing Reigns when running through the matches at WrestleMania this weekend.

The final number will be out Tuesday reflecting the entire country.