AEW Battle of the Belts II sees decline against NBA playoffs, #10 on cable

Photo Courtesy: AEW

AEW’s second edition of Battle of the Belts finished among the top ten cable programs on Saturday, which was dominated by the NBA playoffs.

The April 16th special aired on TNT and averaged 527,000 viewers and approximately 240,000 (0.18) in the 18-49 demographic, per Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics and Showbuzz Daily.

The show finished tenth among cable originals on Saturday. The top three spots on cable featured ESPN’s coverage of three playoff games.

There was also an NBA game airing on ABC against Battle of the Belts that averaged over 4.5 million viewers and 1.33 in 18-49. NBC and Fox’s prime-time programming was dedicated to the launch of the USFL on Saturday night.

Compared to the first Battle of the Belts special that aired on January 8th, it was a decline from the first special averaging 704,000 viewers and 355,000 (0.27) in 18-49.

Overall viewership fell 25 percent from the first Battle of the Belts while 18-49 dropped by 32 percent and 18-34 declined by 24 percent. The only demo that beat the first special was males 12-34 that grew from 0.15 to 0.18. While the NBA competition was a major factor for the second special it was also indicative of audiences not seeing these quarterly specials as “must-see” with a line-up that was not at the level of either Dynamite or Rampage this past week.

This past Friday’s live edition of Rampage, which aired outside its normal time, beat Battle of the Belts in all the key demos except 50+ (0.21 to 0.15) and males 12-34 (0.18 to 0.14).

The one-hour broadcast on TNT featured Thunder Rosa retaining the AEW women’s title against Nyla Rose, Sammy Guevara beating Scorpio Sky to win the TNT title for the third time, and Jonathan Gresham retaining the ROH championship against Dalton Castle.

The event was taped the night prior at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas.


The UFC Fight Night card this past Saturday finished fifth on cable behind the NBA with 914,000 viewers and 0.31 in 18-49 featuring Belal Muhammad vs. Vicente Luque in the main event.

Given all the sports competition, it’s a great number for the UFC and proves that the formula of putting one significant fight in the main event and rounding out the card with lesser names is effective for the Fight Night specials as this was one of the weakest cards on paper for a UFC event with a limited number of ranked fighters on the card.

Showbuzz Daily
has posted its charts for Friday with SmackDown finishing second among network programming behind ABC’s Shark Tank.

SmackDown was hurt badly in their 18-49 demo with a 21 percent drop from the prior week but were airing against the Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers that topped cable with 3,065,000 viewers and 1.12 in 18-49.

The live episode of AEW Rampage airing at 7 p.m. ET finished #9 among cable originals behind all the NBA programming, Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives on Food Network, and The Five on Fox News.

Rampage averaged 482,000 and 288,000 (0.22) in 18-49 but was hurt with a drop among those in the 50+ demo, affecting their overall viewership and was the same pattern from the last time they aired earlier in the night.

On February 18th, which is the last time Rampage aired at 7 p.m. ET, they averaged 471,000 and 257,000 (0.20) in 18-49.

About John Pollock 4086 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.