Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/05/01/wwe-draft-leads-to-smackdowns-second-largest-audience-of-2023/
The first night of the WWE Draft led to Friday Night SmackDown attracting its second-largest audience of the year.
The April 28th edition of SmackDown from Corpus Christi averaged 2,473,000 viewers and approximately 874,000 (0.67) in the 18-49 demographic. (Showbuzz Daily and Wrestlenomics)
The show ranked first among network programs and fifth among all programming from Friday, including coverage of the NFL Draft and NBA & NHL playoff games.
SmackDown saw a 14 percent rise in viewership and a 24 percent spike in the 18-49 demographic from the previous week. It was SmackDown’s largest audience since January 27 and its best performance in the key demo since April 7 following WrestleMania 39.
SmackDown also saw a 25 percent increase in the 18-34 demographic and a 24 percent increase among adults 35-49.
The second night of the NFL Draft was covered on ESPN 2 and the NFL Network head-to-head against SmackDown. ESPN 2’s coverage averaged 1,546,000 and 0.49 in the demo while the NFL Network averaged 989,000 and 0.32.
SmackDown also aired against the Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings, averaging 4,977,000 and 1.59 in the demo on ESPN, and two NHL playoff games on TBS and TNT.
In Canada, SmackDown was moved to OLN and averaged approximately 58,000 viewers and 34,000 in the 25-54 demo with a replay at Midnight ET on Sportsnet 360 pulling in figures of 37,000 and 16,000 respectively. The network change hurt them badly and finished outside of the top ten sports programs on Friday.
For the month of April, SmackDown averaged 2,345,000 viewers and 0.62 in the demo, which are up 10 and 24 percent respectively from April 2022.