Adding some news notes at the beginning of today’s TV ratings report as an experiment. Would something like this be good to add regularly to the top of TV ratings reports? DM or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- WWE put out a press release today saying Saturday’s Backlash event “became WWE’s highest-grossing and most-viewed Backlash in company history… Viewership of Backlash saw a 28 percent increase versus the record set in 2022.” My note: Year-over-year comparisons for viewership on Peacock continue to be benefited by the increase in Peacock subscribers, which are now about 70% higher than around the same time last year. Comcast’s latest disclosure on Peacock subscribers had the service at 22 million, versus 13 million in Q2 2022.
- The press release also stated, “Backlash broke merchandise and sponsorship records. As the first-ever WWE event under the expanded partnership with Fanatics overseeing the on-site event retail experience, top-selling items included the WWE Backlash and LWO Puerto Rico t-shirts.”
- WWE added, “Sponsorship revenue surpassed any Backlash event in history, breaking last year’s record with a 98 percent year-on-year increase through partnerships with Netflix’s FUBAR, Mike’s Harder Lemonade and Xfinity.”
- WWE claimed in the press release the attendances announced on-air: 16,896 for Smackdown and 17,944 for Backlash. We know WWE counted empty capacities for Royal Rumble’s attendance and likely other events. I sent a records request to Puerto Rico Convention and District Authority, which operates the venue, so hopefully we can verify the attendance.
- As I mentioned on Wrestlenomics Radio yesterday, I’m told AEW is holding about 15,000 tickets for All In for reasons including possible comps, production kills, obstructed viewing, and wanting certain seats sold before others. That would explain why WrestleTix and others have been confused when analyzing the ticket map and they came to tickets distributed estimates of around 75,000, which they knew didn’t make sense given Tony Khan tweeting last Friday that the show has sold 60,000 tickets.
- The West Australian reported on Saturday that WWE officials came to Perth to discuss a possible PLE in the country for which the local government would provide a subsidy.
- Morgan Stanley raised its stock price target on Endeavor to $32, up from $30. Endeavor closed today at $25. This follows the firm recently upgrading its target on WWE to $125. WWE closed today at $106. Morgan Stanley projects WWE will get 1.51x increase in U.S. rights for Raw and Smackdown, that the PLE and library rights held by Peacock (expiring early 2026) will be raised by 1.35x, and that UFC’s U.S. rights (expiring first quarter 2026) will move up by 2.01x.
- TNT’s schedule currently lists next week’s Rampage with a Friday, 6:30 pm start, airing before NBA playoffs. This week’s Rampage is scheduled for Saturday at 10 pm, moved for NHL playoffs. April 7 is the last time Rampage aired at its normal Friday 10 pm start time.
WWE Smackdown at 8 pm, Friday on Fox, was watched by 2,059,000 viewers on average, including about 678,000 aged 18 to 49, for a 0.52 P18-49 rating.
AEW Rampage on TNT at 6:30 pm, was watched by 294,000 viewers on average, including about 117,000 aged 18 to 49, for a 0.09 P18-49 rating.
Smackdown ranked #5 on television overall on the day in P18-49, behind ESPN’s NBA playoffs telecasts, but ahead of Shark Tank on ABC. NHL playoffs also aired on TNT after Rampage, against Smackdown.
Rampage ranked #25 in P18-49 among cable originals for the day, according to Showbuzz Daily. Including broadcast primetime, it ranked #41.