Originally published at Taped edition of SmackDown gets thrashed against NBA, NFL Draft
Friday Night SmackDown took a massive hit airing against the NBA playoffs and coverage of the NFL Draft as ESPN dominated the night.
WWE Smackdown last week Friday on Fox:
P18-49: 0.38 (490k)
AEW Rampage last week Friday on TNT:
P18-49: 0.14 (179k)
Against NBA playoffs & NFL draft, lowest P18-49 ever for both in normal timeslot.
— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) May 2, 2022
While the overall viewership dropped a negligible number, the key demo fell by 20 percent from the week prior and would be among the lowest 18-49 audiences in the history of the show. Thurston noted that there is no available data showing a lower 18-49 audience excluding the shows that aired on FS 1 in the past.
The show saw a 23 percent decline among adults 35-49 including 32 percent among females in that demo.
The 18-34 audience fell by 10 percent and was largely a drop of its male audience in that category.
Among network programs, SmackDown equaled the 18-49 rating of Blue Bloods on CBS while both trailed ABC’s coverage of the NFL Draft and NBC’s Dateline, which each posted 0.45 in the demo. SmackDown finished second in 18-34 behind the NFL coverage.
However, it was ESPN that dominated the night with its own coverage of the NFL Draft airing from 7-9 p.m. ET followed by the Memphis vs. Minnesota game at 9:10 p.m. ET. When the NBA game began, ESPN 2 picked up coverage of the draft allowing ESPN’s coverage to occupy seven of the top ten cable programs that evening.
The NBA playoff game won the night with 3,474,000 viewers and 1.20 in 18-49 followed by ESPN’s coverage of the NFL Draft with 2,582,000 and 0.84 respectively.
With all the sports competition, SmackDown didn’t finish among the top ten sports programs in Canada with approximately 125,000 viewers on Sportsnet 360.
SmackDown was taped the previous week due to the roster being in Europe for a tour. The show began with a steel cage match between Drew McIntyre and Sami Zayn and was headlined by the Beat the Clock Challenge involving Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey.
The show returns to its live format this Friday with a show from Long Island, New York leading into WrestleMania Backlash on the weekend.