Tuesday, August 6, 2019

FOX Executive Comments On Ratings Decline, Says SmackDown Will Be "Home Run"

FOX Executive Comments On Ratings Decline, Says SmackDown Will Be "Home Run"
With WWE moving SmackDown to FOX this coming October, big changes are expected.


The changes are hopeful to turn WWE’s declining ratings and attendance for its television shows around. It’s been reported that FOX will be heavily promoting the show during football season that could increase WWE’s struggling ratings.

FOX Sports’ Senior Vice President of Sales Mark Evans spoke with The Big Lead for an interview where he discussed how the network is slated to move forward with the challenges brought upon from ESPN and CBS.

In the interview, WWE was brought up and their declining ratings. This is where Evans noted that he didn’t think that “concern” was not the proper term to describe how the network looks at WWE.

Evans was positive about the positioning that WWE will be in once it migrates to FOX on October 4th.

“We feel how we’re going to present and how we’re going to promote the WWE is going to inject it with such a new life,” Evans said. “It’s going to be a home run for us.”

Below is a look at the average audience for SmackDown since 2015, as well as the change from the year prior:

2015 (Aired on Syfy on Thursdays): 2.34 million
2016 (Moved to USA, went live on Tuesdays in July): 2.42 million (+3.4%)
2017: 2.55 million (+5.4%)
2018: 2.35 million (-7.8%)
2019 (through 7/31): 1.99 million (-15%)

It should be noted that Fox met with WWE about SmackDown moving to their network on May 17th, 2018. Up until that point, SmackDown had been averaging 2.6 million viewers for the year. Following the meeting, the show averaged 2.2 million viewers for the rest of the year, a drop of 15%.

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