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WWE SmackDown ratings down, still second-best numbers since May

Source: Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics

The Friday, July 23 episode of SmackDown averaged 2.137 million viewers on Fox, down 7.5 percent from the previous week. Aside from the previous week's episode, it was the highest audience for the show since May 7.

In the 18-49 demo, SmackDown drew a 0.55 rating. That's down 16.7 percent from the previous week. The actual viewership in that category was 709,000 as compared to 852,000 for the previous week's show.

This was also the second-highest rating in the 18-49 demo since May 7. The previous week's SmackDown marked WWE's return to touring and was also the go-home show for Money in the Bank.

This episode had heavy competition in the form of the opening ceremonies for the Olympics, which drew over 17 million viewers. There will be Olympic competition for all wrestling shows over the next two weeks, which should adversely affect numbers.

Year-over-year, SmackDown was up 11.1 percent in viewership and up 10 percent in the 18-49 demo. It's the second straight week of double digit increases in both categories for SmackDown.

As compared to the 10-week average, as seen in the chart below, SmackDown was up 8.1 percent in overall viewership and up 7.8 percent in the 18-49 demo: