WWE and FOX knew they were in for a scrap on Fri., April 30. It wasn’t an actual game, and they dodged the first round by a night, but the NFL Draft is the biggest event on the most popular sport’s off-season calendar. The second and third rounds SmackDown was going head-to-head with are still a very big deal.
And it did impact the overall audience numbers, which fell below two million in the overnights (which will be adjusted – almost always upward – on Monday). But it was a slightly less than 6% drop, to an average viewership of 1.9 million. The blue show has seen bigger fluctuations against less high-profile competition in the last couple months.
The numbers were aided, of course, by a Universal title main event with Daniel Bryan’s SmackDown future on the line. A big Roman Reigns match helped the ratings in the key demos to remain unchanged from last week, and to earn FOX a tie with ABC’s Draft coverage for first place in both the 18 – 34 and 18 – 49 age groups.
Here are the fast nationals:
Along with just the usual competition, a nostalgia-tinged show next week should bring back the viewers. Can it push the overnight ratings higher, too?