Tuesday night’s SmackDown on the USA Network did just 2.455 million viewers, the lowest number for the show since July 4th. Factoring in that episode falling on a holiday, you’d have to go back to June 13th for a number this low.
It was down nine percent from last week’s post-SummerSlam episode, and year-over-year the show was down 13 percent from the same week in 2016.
It was a strong night for the cable news networks as SmackDown finished only ninth overall in total viewers on cable for Tuesday. It usually finishes in the top three, though the show was first in the 18-49 demo with a 0.76 rating.
John Cena’s move to Raw was likely the reason for the dip in SmackDown’s numbers and could also partially explain why Raw’s ratings have held up over the last two weeks. With Cena in the mix, SmackDown usually retains between 80 and 85 percent of the Raw rating from the previous night. That percentage fell to below 75 percent this week.
Cena was also off of last week’s show, but viewers may just be figuring out now that he isn’t coming back to SmackDown any time soon. Next week’s show is being built around a first-time meeting between Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura — so it will be interesting to see if that helps boost ratings.
Here are the SmackDown ratings so far in 2017 as compared to Raw numbers from the same week.