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WWE SmackDown posts highest ratings in nearly a year

For a show that promised a WrestleMania announcement from Shane McMahon, last night's SmackDown averaged 2.771 million viewers, up six percent from last week. It was the largest audience for the show since April 11th of last year, which was the Superstar Shakeup episode.

The reason for the increase may have been the spillover from the big Raw audience the night before. The audience retention was 82 percent, right in the normal range of what SmackDown has been doing since football season ended:

SmackDown finished fifth for the night on cable in terms of total viewers, but it was first in the 18-49 demo with a very strong 0.91 rating, 42 percent higher than the NCAA play-in game on TruTV that finished in second place.

The number was also up year-over-year for the second time in the last three weeks. Next Tuesday's episode will feature SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan returning to television and WWE following up on the angle where Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn attacked Shane this week.