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WWE SmackDown ratings down against news programming

Tuesday's episode of SmackDown averaged 1.859 million viewers on the USA Network, the fourth lowest total since the 2016 brand split. The three shows that finished with lower totals were against either strong sports competition or the State of the Union address and all have come since February.

This week's show had stronger-than-usual competition with Donald Trump's announcement of his presidential re-election campaign spiking the ratings for the cable news channels. Fox News in particular drew 4.5 million and five million viewers for the two hours that aired directly opposite SmackDown.

SmackDown finished 10th for the night in terms of total cable viewers and second in the 18-49 demo with a 0.56 rating.

It was the second straight night of bad numbers for WWE as SmackDown retained the usual 83 percent of the Monday Night Raw audience. Year-over-year, SmackDown was down 20 percent after about a month of relatively minor drops from last year. 

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