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WWE SmackDown posts lowest ratings since brand split

Last night's SmackDown on the USA Network averaged 1.833 million viewers, the lowest number for the show since the 2016 brand split and its move to airing live on Tuesday nights.

The show was down 12 percent from last week and almost 25 percent from the same week in 2018. This followed a night in which Raw was down almost 30 percent year-over-year, and SmackDown retained the usual 85 percent of Monday's audience. The SmackDown number is usually tied in some ways to the Raw number, so this is not at all surprising.

SmackDown usually finishes in the middle of the top 10 in terms of total cable viewers for the night, but it fell all the way to 15th yesterday. Perhaps more importantly, in the key 18-49 demo, where SmackDown is usually first or second, the show fell to seventh on the night with a 0.54 rating.

SmackDown did air opposite an NBA playoff game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics that did a big audience of 4.404 million. A later game featuring the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets did an even bigger audience of 6.073 million, starting at 10:30 p.m. Even an NHL playoff game finished close to SmackDown in viewers with 1.664 million, and it beat SmackDown in the demo.

Miz and Mrs., which follows SmackDown on USA Network, did another series low with 840,000 viewers.

As bad as these numbers are, they could get even lower with the NBA playoffs getting into the deeper rounds and network TV shows soon airing their season finales, which are often the highest rated episodes of the year. For instance, the May 1, 2018 episode of SmackDown did 2.436 million viewers, with the show falling to 2.195 million for the May 29 episode. If the number falls at the same rate this year, that could mean a number as low as 1.65 million by the end of the month.

Here's a look at the last 10 weeks of SmackDown viewership as compared to the same week in 2018: