Home AEW ‘Dynamite’ craters in the ratings: What this means for Tony Khan’s TV money plans

AEW ‘Dynamite’ craters in the ratings: What this means for Tony Khan’s TV money plans

Chris Graham
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The viewer number reported for this week’s AEW “Dynamite” – 502,000! – is so shockingly low that I’ve been thinking for the past couple of hours that what is being reported has to be wrong.

It’s not.

AEW “Dynamite” drew 502,000 viewers, on average, on Wednesday night.

The excuse, er, the reason that we’re getting for this week’s historic low number, which is down 26 percent from the 681,000 average from last week, and down 36 percent from the 790,000, on average, that tuned in on June 5 – well, NBC is broadcasting the U.S. Olympic swimming trials (3.49 million viewers), and ESPN has the College World Series (1.79 million viewers).


Just, no.

The other excuse being floated is that TBS didn’t lead in with “Big Bang Theory,” but instead aired a movie rerun ahead of this week’s “Dynamite.”

I’ve always been dubious toward the claims that “Big Bang” has that much of an impact on “Dynamite,” just because, if you’re on TBS for “Big Bang,” and you’re not a wrestling fan, and you leave your TV on, why would you stay for at least the first three or four quarter-hours?

It’s usually after the 9 p.m. ET quarter-hour that the viewer numbers start really dropping off.

“Big Bang” not being the lead-in doesn’t explain a drop of 180,000 people from last week and close to 300,000 from two weeks ago.

Wrestling is appointment television, or it’s supposed to be, anyway – that’s what Tony Khan is trying to sell the folks at Warner Brothers Discovery on as he’s up against a deadline to get his next TV contract finalized.

Which makes me wonder, if the WBD folks didn’t pre-empt “Big Bang” for a random movie rerun to test what AEW can do on its own to draw eyeballs to TBS.

Whether that was the case or not, we have our findings, and the data isn’t good for Khan.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].