If you were wondering, like I was, whether Monday Night Raw‘s improved viewership this week was mainly because there weren’t any NBA Playoffs on that night, it looks like the answer’s probably yes. It turns out Smackdown Live, which was competing with a bunch of NBA content, as well as some NHL, didn’t match Raw’s improved numbers. In fact, Smackdown viewership hit a new record low for its time on the USA Network.
As reported on 411Mania, Smackdown had an average of 1.827 million viewers, which is down from the previous record low of 1.833 million two weeks ago. The the episode also brought in a 0.56 rating among the key 18–49 demographic, which is down 20% from last week, but still slightly above two weeks ago.
But as I mentioned above, Smackdown did have heavy competition from live sports programming. An NBA game came in first with 7.315 million viewers and a 2.79 demo rating. Just beneath that was the Draft Lottery that that came before it (also opposite Smackdown, which got 4.427 million viewers and a rating of 1.68. There was also a show called “NBA: The Jump” as well as the NHL Conference finals, which both beat out Smackdown as well. All of that may not be enough for Fox to look at Smackdown’s terrible numbers and say “This is fine,” but it is a mitigating circumstance.