WWE's first edition of SmackDown on FOX delivered in the television ratings department in a major way on Friday evening.
The broadcast drew 3.869 million viewers according to Showbuzz Daily, making it by far the most watched WWE broadcast this year. Last week's final SmackDown on the USA Network drew 2.099 million viewers, meaning this week's FOX show saw a viewership increase of 84 percent for the blue brand.
Due to the exposure of airing on network television, WWE's focus will shift to SmackDown moving forward as the company's "A-show." To illustrate the fact, this week's RAW on the USA Network, advertised as the "season premiere," garnered 2.571 million viewers. That number is just 66 percent of the audience that SmackDown delivered.
In comparison with the other competition on network television on Friday night, WWE was the clear winner in terms of ratings per key demographics. SmackDown easily won both the 18-34 and 18-49 age group demographics for the night. The show drew a 0.950 rating in the 18-34 demo and a 1.350 rating among 18-49 year olds.
In terms of pure viewership, SmackDown's 3.869 million viewers ranked fourth for the night on network television, falling behind Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-O, and Magnum P.I.
SmackDown's FOX premiere featured several big moments, including the return of The Rock (alongside Becky Lynch), Kevin Owens defeating Shane McMahon in a ladder match, and Brock Lesnar defeating Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship in just a matter of seconds.