The last Smackdown episode of 2020 drew big numbers for WWE and Fox on Christmas night. If you read my review here on TJRWrestling last night or this morning then you know I thought it was the best Smackdown episode of the year. Smackdown followed an NFL game on Fox that saw the New Orleans Saints destroy the Minnesota Vikings 52-33 thanks to an NFL record-tying six rushing TDs by Saints RB Alvin Kamara.
The two hours of Smackdown averaged 3.336 million viewers according to Showbuzz Daily.
Hour one did 4.097 million viewers and hour two did 2.574 million viewers. That’s the biggest audience for Smackdown in 2020.
In the 18-49 age demographic, Smackdown averaged a 0.95 rating (1.1 first hour, 0.8 second hour), which put Fox second in the evening beside the NBA game on ABC that averaged a 1.15 rating in that demographic over the three hours.
Smackdown started a few minutes after 8 pm ET (7 pm CT) due to the NFL broadcast running a few minutes past the top of the hour, but the NFL audience stayed tuned in for at least some of the first hour. That’s why it was smart for WWE to begin the show with Roman Reigns defending the Universal Title against Kevin Owens in a Steel Cage match. The first hour of Smackdown even did better than the first hour of the NBA game on ABC with the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks doing 3.959 million viewers in hour one.
It was the most-watched episode of Smackdown in 2020 and the second-best audience since WWE moved to Fox in October 2019. The only episode that had more viewers was the first Smackdown on Fox episode on October 4, 2019 with 3.888 million viewers. That featured an appearance from The Rock and was a loaded show.
This week’s viewership numbers are a big difference from last week when they did 1.03 million for Smackdown since it was bumped to cable’s Fox Sports 1 channel.
TJR Thoughts: I’m happy for the Smackdown crew. They put on three title matches and delivered a show that was almost like a pay-per-view in some ways. I enjoyed it a lot and I think most people did too.