Despite the return of Major League Baseball, WWE SmackDown saw their viewership rise this week for the Friday night broadcast on FOX. According to the overnight figures published to Showbuzz Daily, SmackDown drew an average audience 1.971 million viewers. The numbers comes from a first hour that did 1.985 million and a second hour that drew 1.956 million viewers. This is a slight increase from last week's show that averaged 1.912 million viewers and has to be considered good news given the long anticipated return of regular season baseball.
In terms of pure viewership, SmackDown ranked number eight for the night on network television. The show was outdrawn by Shark Tank, 20/20, Greatest #AtHome Videos, Magnum P.I., Blue Bloods, The Wall, and Dateline NBC.
In the all important 18-49 age group ratings demographic, SmackDown came in with a 0.50 rating which ranked number one for the night across network television. Last week's show also did a 0.50 rating in the demo, and if this number holds (final figures are released on Monday), it would be the third week in a row that SmackDown drew a 0.50 among 18-49 year olds.
Among 18-34 year olds, SmackDown did a 0.25 demo rating. This was second place for the night on network television, finishing behind Greatest #AtHome Videos. If the number holds when final figures are released on Monday, it would be up slightly from the 0.20 18-34 demo rating that the show did last week.
SmackDown was headlined this week by a Bar Fight between Jeff Hardy and Sheamus. It also featured a four-way match for a chance to wrestle AJ Styles for the Intercontinental Championship, Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Cross in a SmackDown women's number one contender match, and Matt Riddle vs. Tony Nese.
What did you think of SmackDown on Friday night? Let us know in the comments section below!