WWE SmackDown Numbers Up Following Vince McMahon’s Retirement, SmackDown Takes Top Spot In Key Demo

Friday’s live edition of WWE SmackDown drew an average of 2.256 million viewers on FOX, according to Nielsen, via Showbuzz Daily.

This final number is up 8.62% from the previous week’s final viewership of 2.077 million viewers.

Friday’s SmackDown drew a 0.62 rating in the key 18-49 demographic. This is up 31.91% from the previous week’s 0.47 rating. This week’s 0.62 key demo rating represents 809,000 18-49 viewers, which is up 31.97% from the 613,000 18-49 viewers that the previous week’s 0.47 key demo rating drew, according to Wrestlenomics.

SmackDown ranked #1 in ratings for the key 18-49 demographic on network TV, even with the previous week’s #1 ranking. SmackDown ranked #1 in the 18-34 demo this week, up from the previous week’s #2 ranking. SmackDown ranked #1 in the 25-54 demo, even with the previous week’s #1 ranking, and the three weeks before that. SmackDown came in at #5 for the night in viewership on network TV, up from the previous week’s #6 ranking. While SmackDown topped the night on network TV in the key demographic, 20/20 on ABC topped the night in viewership with 2.892 million viewers, also drawing a 0.30 key demo rating.

Friday’s live SmackDown drew the fourth-highest viewership of the year, and the second-highest key demo rating of the year, tied with the June 17 episode. The episode drew the highest total audience since June 17, and the highest key demo rating since January 21. There was no sports competition this past Friday night. Friday’s viewership was up 8.62% from the previous week’s episode, while the key demo rating was up 31.91% from the previous week’s episode.

My Lottery Dream Home on Home & Garden TV topped the night on the Cable Top 150 with a 0.20 key demo rating, also drawing 1.489 million viewers. The Five on FOX News topped the night on cable in viewership with 3.115 million viewers, also drawing a 0.20 key demo rating for the #2 spot on the Cable Top 150.

Viewership for Friday’s SmackDown episode was up 5.57% from the same week in 2021, while Friday’s 18-49 key demo rating was up 12.72% from the same week in 2021. The 2021 episode was the post-Money In the Bank episode.

Friday’s SmackDown aired live from the TD Garden in Boston, MA, with the following line-up advertised – WWE Chairwoman & Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon opening the show to announce Vince McMahon’s retirement, Brock Lesnar’s return to SmackDown (which was rumored to be up in the air after he walked out earlier in the day), Ronda Rousey’s face-to-face with SmackDown Women’s Champion Liv Morgan, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ludwig Kaiser, Maxxine Dupri’s debut as Maximum Male Models reveals their 2022 Beachwear Collection (which ended up being a backstage segment). The main event ended up being Madcap Moss and The Street Profits vs. Theory and Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos, which ended with Lesnar taking out Theory.

Stay tuned for more ratings data. Below is our 2022 SmackDown Viewership Tracker, along with the Top 10 moments from Friday’s show:

January 7 Episode: 2.271 million viewers with a 0.58 rating in the 18-49 demographic (Post-Day 1 episode)
January 14 Episode: 2.174 million viewers with a 0.56 rating in the 18-49 demographic
January 21 Episode: 2.255 million viewers with a 0.64 rating in the 18-49 demographic
January 28 Episode: 2.217 million viewers with a 0.56 rating in the 18-49 demographic
February 4 Episode: 2.151 million viewers with a 0.51 rating in the 18-49 demographic (Post-Royal Rumble episode)
February 11 Episode: 2.231 million viewers with a 0.55 rating in the 18-49 demographic
February 18 Episode: 2.173 million viewers with a 0.54 rating in the 18-49 demographic (Taped episode)
February 25 Episode: 2.114 million viewers with a 0.57 rating in the 18-49 demographic (Post-Elimination Chamber episode)
March 4 Episode: 2.261 million viewers with a 0.59 rating in the 18-49 demographic
March 11 Episode: 2.226 million viewers with a 0.57 rating in the 18-49 demographic
March 18 Episode: 2.147 million viewers with a 0.58 rating in the 18-49 demographic
March 25 Episode: 2.180 million viewers with a 0.49 rating in the 18-49 demographic
April 1 Episode: 2.359 million viewers with a 0.61 rating in the 18-49 demographic (WrestleMania SmackDown episode)
April 8 Episode: 2.230 million viewers with a 0.60 rating in the 18-49 demographic (Post-WrestleMania 38 episode)
April 15 Episode: 2.142 million viewers with a 0.48 rating in the 18-49 demographic
April 22 Episode: 1.952 million viewers with a 0.47 rating in the 18-49 demographic
April 29 Episode: 1.953 million viewers with a 0.38 rating in the 18-49 demographic (Taped episode)
May 6 Episode: 1.998 million viewers with a 0.46 rating in the 18-49 demographic
May 13 Episode: 1.893 million viewers with a 0.40 rating in the 18-49 demographic (Post-WrestleMania Backlash episode)
May 20 Episode: 2.031 million viewers with a 0.45 rating in the 18-49 demographic
May 27 Episode: 1.878 million viewers with a 0.43 rating in the 18-49 demographic
June 3 Episode: 1.939 million viewers with a 0.47 rating in the 18-49 demographic
June 10 Episode: 1.914 million viewers with a 0.44 rating in the 18-49 demographic (Post-Hell In a Cell episode)
June 17 Episode: 2.389 million viewers with a 0.62 rating in the 18-49 demographic
June 24 Episode: 2.231 million viewers with a 0.53 rating in the 18-49 demographic
July 1 Episode: 2.142 million viewers with a 0.49 rating in the 18-49 demographic
July 8 Episode: 2.129 million viewers with a 0.47 rating in the 18-49 demographic (Post-Money In the Bank episode)
July 15 Episode: 2.077 million viewers with a 0.47 rating in the 18-49 demographic
July 22 Episode: 2.256 million viewers with a 0.62 rating in the 18-49 demographic
July 29 Episode:

2021 Viewership Average: 2.050 million viewers per episode (2,082,154 without Best Of episode)
2021 18-49 Key Demo Rating Average: 0.54 rating per episode (0.55 without Best Of episode)

2021 FOX Viewership Average: 2.127 million viewers per episode
2021 FOX 18-49 Key Demo Rating Average: 0.56 rating per episode

2021 FS1 Viewership Average: 758,667 viewers per episode (includes Best Of episode; 949,000 without it)
2021 FS1 18-49 Key Demo Rating Average: 0.20 rating per episode (includes Best Of episode; 0.27 without it)

2020 Viewership Average: 2.180 million viewers per episode (2 FS1 airings)

2019 Viewership Average: 2.164 million viewers per episode (1 FS1 airing)

2018 Viewership Average: 2.352 million viewers per episode

2017 Viewership Average: 2.546 million viewers per episode

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