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WWE News: Live Smackdown ratings are in - Super Smackdown delivers not-so-super results

Apr 11, 2012 - 5:10:37 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

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WWE's live Super Smackdown episode on Tuesday, April 10 scored a 1.50 rating, down four-tenths of a rating from a 1.90 rating for the previous Smackdown on Friday, April 6.

The episode was also down nearly two-tenths of a rating from the previous live special on Tuesday, February 21, which scored a 1.67 rating.

Smackdown averaged 2.25 million viewers, down 500,000 viewers from Friday's episode. Smackdown also continued a precipitous decline with the live specials, as the show was down approximately 100,000 viewers from the previous live special on Feb. 21. Going back to the first live Tuesday night special in August 2011, this week's episode was down nearly one million viewers.

Live Smackdown Decline

8/30/11 - 2.20 rating / 3.20 million viewers
11/29/11 - 2.00 rating / 3.05 million viewers
2/21/12 - 1.67 rating / 2.37 million viewers
4/10/12 - 1.50 rating / 2.25 million viewers

-- On cable TV Tuesday night, Smackdown ranked #13 in overall viewers and #7 among males 18-49. The bright spot, which is what keeps these live specials going, is the show ranked #1 among m18-34 and m18-49 during the first hour timeslot.

-- Syfy's heavily-promoted premiere of "Dream Machines" that was cross-promoted with the Smackdown special only averaged 1.2 million viewers immediately following Smackdown. The show retaining half of the Smackdown audience captures the TV industry belief that wrestling viewers do not watch other programming.

Caldwell's Analysis: This was expected and remains concerning. Smackdown has been on a downturn since the previous live special hurt Friday night momentum, Friday nights is Smackdown's night, the hook wasn't there from Raw the previous night, the nostalgia theme didn't captivate the audience, Raw's TV ratings sank on Monday night, and the post-Mania lull has already kicked in. WWE and Syfy need to regroup on Friday nights for several months before re-visiting a live special to actually make it feel special. It won't happen because Syfy can grab an adult male audience they normally can't get during the prime cable TV window of Monday through Thursday, but it's hurting the overall health of the Smackdown brand.


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