Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/05/09/wwes-television-viewership-hit-hard-by-sports-competition/
The WWE was hit hard by the NBA playoffs this week, leading to sizable drops for both Raw and SmackDown Live.
Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown averaged 2,293,000 viewers on the USA Network, despite the announcement the night prior that Daniel Bryan would be wrestling on the show.
It’s the lowest number for the show since last Halloween Night. Excluding Halloween, it would be the lowest since June 13th, 2017, which averaged 2,072,000 viewers.
The Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets game on Tuesday was the main culprit with an audience of 4,082,000 on TNT going head-to-head-with SmackDown.
Monday’s episode of Raw was hit as well with only 2,680,000 viewers watching the three-hour program on USA, which was down 12% from last week.
There was no buzz coming off Backlash and the show started poor with 2,788,000 viewers (down 11% from the opening hour last week), the show dropped to 2,731,000 (down 14%) in the second hour and fell to 2,549,000 for the final hour (a drop of 11.4% from last week’s final hour of the program).
Monday’s show featured competition from both the NBA and NHL playoffs. The first 37 minutes of Raw went against the end of the Celtics vs. 76ers game that averaged 3,395,000 on TNT. The remainder of Raw featured competition from the big Cavaliers vs. Raptors game that attracted 5,900,000 on TNT.
The Washington Capitals win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on NBC Sports Network averaged 2,240,000 viewers.