The honeymoon is over.
For the third straight week SmackDown has dropped in ratings
SmackDown which is a brand new show on FOX is losing viewers which is not good for a televised product only three weeks in.
This weeks SmackDown drew 2.442 million viewers.
SmackDown which got a new cosmetic makeover complete with new stage/commentary teams along with bringing back pyro was supposed to be a big deal on the FOX Network is now in danger of being viewed as a potential “Bad Investment”.
FOX officials were adamant during the initial negotiation process that SmackDown needed to draw 3.0 million viewers per week to maintain the Friday night prime time slot and be considered successful.
SmackDown started off hot with the premier episode drawing huge numbers (3.888 million viewers) mainly due to the return of The Rock but has lost 46% viewership in just two short weeks.
October, 4th FOX Premier Episode 3.888 million viewers
October, 11th Episode 2.877 million viewers
October, 18th Episode 2.442 million viewers
SmackDown Executive Director Eric Bischoff was fired this week as a result of the dropping ratings and in many ways this was seen as a scapegoat blaming the issues with the current WWE product on one man rather than the simple fact that WWE as a whole continues to dig a hole they may not be able to overcome by not developing newer stars and not listening to fan reactions.
Many readers have sent us in messages questioning if FOX would move Smackdown to FS1 if the decline in ratings continue and the answer is.. yes. FOX is not USA, they will not tolerate a show they have invested close to $1 billion dollars for only to not draw ratings
If ratings continue to fall SmackDown would likely move to FS1 as 8pm on Friday night is a prime time slot that other programs would benefit from having on FOX.
With AEW getting stronger and stronger and WWE fan interests getting lower and lower its safe to say WWE is playing a dangerous game.
Stay tuned to Slice Wrestling for the latest updates.