The Christmas edition of Friday Night SmackDown, benefiting from a giant NFL lead-in, posted the show’s second-highest viewership since moving to FOX.
Immediately following the New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings game, SmackDown averaged 3,303,000 viewers and a 0.96 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
It was SmackDown’s highest viewership average since its debut on FOX on October 4, 2019, featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson that did 3,888,000 viewers. This week’s demo figure would also be among its highest on the network, trailing the debut episode and subsequent week featuring the WWE Draft in 2019.
The NFL lead-in averaged 11,501,000 viewers and dominated the night with a 3.15 demo rating.
SmackDown finished third among network programs in the 18-49 demo, trailing the NFL and the NBA game on ABC that went head-to-head with WWE. SmackDown’s 18-34 rating was a 0.68, which was also third behind the NFL and NBA.
Since last week’s episode of SmackDown aired on FS1, the comparison to their show on FOX from two weeks ago saw SmackDown up 49.7 percent in viewership and jumping from a 0.6 to 0.96 in the 18-49 demo. Of course, this week was an anomaly due to the NFL lead-in, but in theory, many new or lapsed viewers were exposed to the SmackDown product, and whether they added any new fans will be determined after this week’s ratings are reported.
SmackDown on Christmas night was a loaded show with three championship matches including Roman Reigns retaining the Universal Championship against Kevin Owens in a steel cage match, Big E. won the Intercontinental title from Sami Zayn in a Lumberjack Match, and Asuka & Charlotte Flair retained the Women’s Tag Championship in an Elimination Match defeating Bayley & Carmella, and Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair.