news analysis aew did a better job keeping its dynamite viewers this week
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Analysis: AEW did a better job keeping its ‘Dynamite’ viewers this week

elite vs. death triangle
Photo: All Elite Wrestling

A disturbing trend in the quarter-hour ratings for AEW’s flagship “Dynamite” show had its viewer numbers dropping dramatically from the opening 8 p.m. ET segment through the show basically all the way to the end at 10 p.m. ET.

Reviewing the quarter-hours this week, there was still a drop from Segment 1 to Segment 8, but all in all, the show did a much better job holding viewers than had been the case for weeks.

The opening segment, a match pitting former AEW world champs Jon Moxley and Adam Page, averaged 1.087 million viewers, according to Wrestlenomics, the high-water mark of the night, and in fact, the show wouldn’t get back over 1 million the rest of the night.

But it also wouldn’t drop below 893,000 viewers for a quarter-hour, which was a solid bump from recent weeks, when entire two-hour shows were below that average.

Jim Cornette won’t be happy to learn that the second highest-rated segment of the night was Seg 3 featuring The Firm vs. JungleHook and a long backstage chat with the Best Friends and Orange Cassidy.

That segment drew an average of 993,000 viewers.

The downer segment featured the self-styled Demo God, Chris Jericho, in what turned out to be an awkward mic battle with Ricky Starks, with both way off their games.

That segment, 9:30-9:45 p.m. ET, was the one that averaged 893,000 viewers.

There was a slight bump for the main event, the seventh match in the series between The Elite (Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks) and Death Triangle (Pac and the Lucha Bros.).

That segment garnered an average of 907,000 viewers.

From Seg 1 (at the top of the 8 p.m. ET hour) to Seg 5 (at the top of the 9 p.m. ET hour), “Dynamite” lost 9.8 percent of the audience, and the loss from Seg 1 to Seg 8 (the main event slot) was 16.6 percent, still not good, really at all.

But in comparison to last week’s show, where the drop from Seg 1 to Seg 5 was 16.6 percent, and the drop from Seg 1 to Seg 8 was 20.7 percent, it was improvement.

Compare/contrast to WWE

Incidentally, yes, WWE’s weekly shows, “Raw” and “Smackdown,” also shed viewers over the course of their broadcasts, but it’s generally not as pronounced, at least on an apples-to-apples comparison basis.

This week, “Raw” opened with an average of 1.751 million viewers for its Segment 1 at 8 p.m. ET, was actually up 5.7 percent, to 1.85 million, for Seg 5 (at 9 p.m. ET), before dropping beginning with Seg 7 all the way through the end of the three-hour show, with Seg 12 (the 10:45-11 p.m. ET QH) registering an average of 1.466 million viewers, a decline of 16.3 percent.

Tracking “Raw” QHs long-term, there is a noticeable viewer fatigue that sinks in toward the end of the second hour, and the third hour is usually well off from Hours 1 and 2, so this week’s numbers are in line with that trend.

Last Friday’s “Smackdown” started out at an average of 2.442 million viewers for the 8 p.m. QH, dropped for Seg 2 to 2.13 million, a precipitous 12.8 percent decline, but the show rebounded for the 9 p.m. ET QH to 2.367 million viewers (still off 3.1 percent from the open), and finished in Seg 8 (9:45-10 p.m. ET) at 2.266 million (down 7.2 percent from the open).

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, youtube.com/chrisgrahamAFP. Want to reach me? Try [email protected].