In a groundbreaking turn of events, last week's episode of "WWE SmackDown" achieved unprecedented success, marking a historic milestone for professional wrestling programming. Not only did the show garner sky-high ratings, surpassing previous records and becoming the most-watched episode in years, but its significance extended far beyond mere viewership statistics.
According to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the July 7 edition of "SmackDown" seems to have achieved a remarkable feat by emerging as the top English-language program of the week across all of television.
Unprecedented Ratings Surge Propels 'SmackDown' to New Heights
Captivating the coveted demographic of adults aged 18 to 49, "SmackDown" secured an impressive average rating of 0.76, drawing in a staggering 986,000 viewers.
The pinnacle of this triumph occurred during the second quarter-hour, specifically during the electrifying "Tribal Court" segment, which not only solidified its dominance but also propelled the show to new heights. During this period, "SmackDown" commanded an average viewership of 3,070,000, with a remarkable 1,223,000 viewers falling within the 18 to 49 age bracket, yielding a stellar rating of 0.94.
Wrestling enthusiasts and industry experts alike hailed this achievement as the most significant "SmackDown" quarter in several years. It is important to note that ratings serve as the benchmark for advertising rates, and the 18 to 49 demographic holds particular significance in the television industry, as advertisers perceive this age group to possess substantial purchasing power and relatively lower brand loyalty.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the only other instance where a wrestling show potentially claimed the top spot across all television programming occurred during the initial boom of professional wrestling on TV in the early 1950s.
During that era, one of the network wrestling shows managed to secure 10th place in the overall rankings. Wrestling programs have consistently dominated cable ratings since the advent of such measurements, with regional wrestling shows often reigning supreme in their respective local markets, most notably in Memphis, Tennessee.
Even when considering the pinnacle of viewership for a wrestling show, exemplified by the February 1988 "Main Event" special featuring a legendary showdown between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, which attracted an average of 33 million viewers, it only managed to secure the 32nd position for the week.
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