In the world of professional wrestling, audience numbers are a barometer of success and a crucial metric for any promotion. All Elite Wrestling (AEW) has been a rising star in the industry, with its flagship show "AEW Dynamite" consistently making waves.
However, recent viewership trends have raised eyebrows and prompted analysis from industry veterans. In 2023, "AEW Dynamite" has crossed the coveted 1 million viewers mark only twice, marking a significant drop from the previous year when the show achieved this milestone on 13 separate occasions, including an impressive five-week streak.
Comparing the numbers, it becomes apparent that the show's viewership has plateaued, with 2022 averaging slightly over 950,000 viewers per episode compared to around 880,000 this year. These figures are more aligned with the show's 2021 average of approximately 890,000 viewers per episode.
Bully Ray's Cautionary Insights
On the airwaves of "Busted Open Radio," Bully Ray, a wrestling legend and commentator, extended his congratulations to AEW for the success of "Dynamite: Grand Slam." However, he also sounded a note of caution, urging AEW President Tony Khan to meticulously dissect the elements that contributed to the increased viewership for the September event.
Ray emphasized the need for a detailed analysis to recalibrate creative plans effectively. Ray, drawing on decades of wrestling experience, highlighted the importance of patience and long-term vision. "Anybody who's got an ounce of knowledge in the wrestling industry will tell you that — despite the fact that [AEW] had one solid week — [it] does not [guarantee] progression forward," Ray explained.
He emphasized that in the wrestling business, it typically takes about three months to gauge whether something is genuinely catching on, whether it's reflected in pay-per-view buy rates, merchandise sales, or other metrics.
Ray's concern revolves around the potential transient nature of the increased viewership for "Dynamite: Grand Slam." He speculates that some casual AEW fans might have tuned in solely for that event, and the true test lies in retaining those viewers in the coming weeks.
"If 'Dynamite' heads back into that high-700s, mid-800s range, then we're back to square one," Ray cautioned. It's important to note that Ray's comments were made before the latest episode of "Dynamite," which experienced a drop of nearly 130,000 viewers from the "Grand Slam" episode.
This development underscores the volatility of viewership numbers and the ongoing challenge for AEW to sustain and grow its audience base.
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