Last night’s SmackDown Live saw its viewership increase despite heavy competition from cable news channels. SmackDown Live‘s two hours attracted 2.685 million overnight viewers, which is an increase from last week’s 2.530 million viewers. Despite the viewership increase, SmackDown Live was the sixth most popular program on cable on Tuesday night, losing to cable news shows on Fox News Channel and MSNBC, which covered WWE Hall of Famer and U.S. President Donald Trump’s rally in Arizona. The top cable program on Tuesday night was Fox News Channel’s Hannity, with 4.578 million viewers, although the show airs at 10 p.m. EDT, after SmackDown Live.
It was the first SmackDown Live broadcast following SummerSlam, one of the four major pay-per-view events for the company. Last night’s show saw the main roster debut of Bobby Roode and the return of Shelton Benjamin after several years away from WWE. The show opened with WWE United States Champion AJ Styles, Kevin Owens and SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon setting up the main event of Styles vs. Owens with another special guest referee.
SmackDown Live may have lost the overall viewership battle but it did easily win the important 18-49 age demographic with 0.87 rating, up from last week’s 0.77 rating.