Image: Lee South/AEW
At a time when most other pro wrestling shows are down in the ratings, AEW Dynamite and NXT both saw increases last night.
Last night’s live episode of Dynamite from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville averaged 732,000 viewers on TNT, up 5.6 percent from last week. In the 18-49 demo, the show finished 12th for the night in the cable TV rankings and drew a 0.28 rating, Dynamite’s biggest number in that category since March 25. That was up 3.7 percent from last week.
On USA Network, NXT was also up for a loaded up show featuring two title matches and the NXT in-ring debut of Karrion Kross. The episode averaged 663,000 viewers, up 4.1 percent from last week. In 18-49, NXT climbed back into the top 50, finishing 33rd with a 0.18 rating, up 12.5 percent from last Wednesday.
The combined audience of 1.395 million viewers was almost identical to two weeks ago as the best number since March 25.
There have been eight closed set broadcasts for both shows so far, so it’s a good time to look at the trends as compared to before the coronavirus pandemic forced the promotions to not allow fans at events.
The eight Dynamite episodes prior to March 18 averaged 859,250 viewers. Since that date, the subsequent eight shows have averaged 745,875 viewers, a drop of 13.2 percent
For NXT, the same eight weeks of shows pre-pandemic averaged 741,750 viewers. Since then, they’ve averaged 643,875 viewers. The drop was the exact same 13.2 percent.
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Looking at the other wrestling shows over that time frame, since there have also been eight weeks of Raw and SmackDown:
Raw averaged 2.290 million viewers for the eight weeks prior to closed set episodes and 1.948 million viewers since then, a drop of 14.9 percent.
SmackDown averaged 2.511 million viewers pre-pandemic and 2.249 million since then, a drop of 10.5 percent. It should be noted that SmackDown had the advantage of having appearances by John Cena and Goldberg before WrestleMania 36, which likely boosted those numbers and fell in the time frame of after the pandemic started.
Here’s a look at the last 10 weeks of ratings and demo numbers for both AEW and NXT: