By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
The Live Smackdown premiere/one-time WWE Draft event led to a huge surge in Smackdown’s TV audience Tuesday night on USA Network, almost beating Raw the previous night.
WWE Smackdown TV Ratings Tracking
July 19: The Tuesday night premiere scored a 2.20 TV rating, setting a high-mark for Smackdown entering a new era.
Smackdown nearly topped Raw the night before, which drew a 2.22 rating leading into the Live Smackdown/Draft special.
Previously on Thursday nights, Smackdown was ranging in the 1.5-1.6 ratings, representing a 40 percent jump for the Live premiere.
– Smackdown Live drew 3.190 million viewers, more than 1.0 million more than what last Thursday’s show drew.
Updated: Smackdown actually edged out Monday’s Raw in viewership, which averaged 3.133 million viewers.
– DEMOGRAPHICS: Smackdown jumped off the page with Tuesday night’s ratings compared to the last Thursday episode.
Adults 18-49 jumped 111 percent to a 1.18 rating
Males 18-34 jumped 198 percent to a 1.49 rating after drawing a 0.50 rating last Thursday; a gain of nearly one full TV rating point
Males 18-49 jumped 154 percent to a 1.50 rating
– Historically, the last time Smackdown topped a 2.0 TV rating was a year-and-a-half ago for a Live Smackdown on January 29, 2015 when Smackdown moved to Thursday nights on Syfy.
The last time Smackdown topped a 2.2 rating was a live Smackdown on USA Network on December 18, 2012 during the “WWE Week” run on USA.
Caldwell’s Analysis: This was certainly a one-time pop with the Draft and Live Smackdown premiere on the same night, but it gives Smackdown some momentum going forward. It’s unlikely the show hits a 2.2 next week, but if Smackdown can stay above a 2.0 most weeks, WWE and USA Network will be pleased.
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