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WWE SmackDown beats Raw in ratings for second straight week

The New Year's Day edition of SmackDown was up 10 percent from last week to a total of 2.091 million viewers. For the second week in a row, and only the fourth time since the 2016 brand split, SmackDown ratings topped Raw in the same week, finishing six percent higher than the New Year's Eve episode of Raw.

Due to heavy competition from New Year's Day bowl games, SmackDown finished just ninth overall in terms of cable TV viewers on the day. SmackDown fell all the way to 10th in the 18-49 demo, where they usually finish first or second, with a 0.68 rating.

Despite the relatively good rating as compared to recent weeks, SmackDown was down over 20 percent year-over-year. The show averaged 2.7 million viewers one year ago this week. It's the fourth week over the last five where they had such a decline -- with the week where Vince McMahon returned to TV being the only exception.

For the calendar year of 2018, SmackDown averaged 2.352 million viewers, down eight percent from the 2017 average of 2.546 million.

Comparatively, Raw averaged 2.831 million viewers in 2018, down six percent from the 2017 average of 3.009 million.

Here's a look at the last 10 weeks of SmackDown numbers and how they compare to the same week from a year ago: