Taped edition of SmackDown posts small decline against Olympics, NBA

Originally published at Taped edition of SmackDown posts small decline against Olympics, NBA

The taped edition of Friday Night SmackDown saw a minor decrease in viewership against the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.

The February 18th edition of the show averaged 2,173,000 viewers and approximately 704,000 (0.54) in the 18-49 demographic, per Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics and Showbuzz Daily.

The drop was minimal with a 3 percent decline in overall viewers and a 3.5 percent decline among the key demo.

SmackDown was ahead of all network programming on Friday except NBC’s coverage of the closing ceremonies for the Olympics. WWE also went against ESPN and TNT’s coverage of the NBA All-Star weekend, which topped cable for the night.

It was SmackDown’s second-lowest numbers of 2022 behind the February 4th episode that aired the same night as coverage of the opening ceremonies for the Olympics.

The show did drop 11 percent in the 18-34 demo, which would likely be a cause of the sports options that night.

SmackDown featured a contract signing involving Charlotte Flair, Sonya Deville, Ronda Rousey, and Naomi and a face-to-face segment involving Roman Reigns and Bill Goldberg on the night before the Elimination Chamber event in Saudi Arabia.

With the key talent in Saudi Arabia, it required the episode to be taped in advance in New Orleans the week prior.

Despite the sports competition, SmackDown did very well in Canada.

On Sportsnet 360, it averaged 147,100 viewers and 63,300 in the 25-54 demographic. Among sports programming, it finished second in overall viewers and was #1 in the demo ahead of the NBA, Winter Olympics, and NHL.