NEWS UPDATE: Smackdown & Rampage TV ratings, MLW v. WWE lawsuit update

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News update

  • MLW’s lawsuit against WWE should have discovery and a trial date scheduled soon. Judge Edward J. Davila on Thursday ruled to deny WWE’s motion to dismiss MLW’s antitrust complaint, which alleges WWE has violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by, among other allegations, interfering in MLW’s negotiations with Fox-owned streaming service Tubi. MLW’s attorneys issued to us a press release on Friday with a comment from lawyer Marc Kasowitz, who said, “We are pleased with Judge Davila’s well-reasoned opinion and look forward to recovering the substantial damages that MLW has suffered as a result of WWE’s many years of egregious anticompetitve behavior.”
  • Andrew Zarian reported that the overnight rating for the first AEW Collision on Saturday night on TNT measured at 814,000 viewers. I’ve heard a slightly lower number, but the number Zarian reported could include out-of-home viewing. I expect the final rating, to be reported on Wednesday morning, to be around 765,000 to 810,000 for total viewers (P2+), and 380,000 to 445,000 (0.29 to 0.34) for P18-49.
  • Comcast CEO Brian Roberts wants to acquire Warner Bros. Discovery, according to a report from Claire Atkinson. Both Comcast and WBD deny that there are any active M&A negotiations. The report says WBD could also try to acquire Paramount Global (formerly known as ViacomCBS), which may be easier to pass through regulatory approval. With Comcast and WBD being the two most important business partners for WWE and AEW respectively, obviously, any major transaction involving those companies could have major effects on the wrestling business.

TV ratings: WWE Smackdown and AEW Rampage, June 16

WWE Smackdown Friday on Fox at 8 pm, was watched by 2,430,000 viewers on average, including about 874,000 aged 18 to 49, for a 0.67 P18-49 rating. AEW Rampage on TNT at 10 pm, was watched by 423,000 viewers on average, including about 170,000 aged 18 to 49, for a 0.13 P18-49 rating. Smackdown ranked #1 on television overall on the day in P18-49. Rampage ranked #12 in P18-49 among cable originals for the day, according to Showbuzz Daily. Including broadcast primetime, it ranked #25. This was Rampage’s highest P18-49 viewership since April 7. Compared to last week, Smackdown was up 7% in total viewership. Among viewers 18-49, viewership was up 11%. Compared to last week, Rampage was up 45% in total viewership. Among viewers 18-49, viewership was up 37%. Viewer counts in thousands, calculated from national ratings, for this week’s episode with difference versus the median of the last 28 days in parentheses: Smackdown: P2+: 2430 (+10%) P18-49: 874 (+18%) P18-34: 330 (+22%) P35-49: 544 (+15%) P25-54: 1046 (+15%) Non-P18-49: 1556 (+5%) Rampage: P2+: 423 (+30%) P18-49: 170 (+26%) M18-49: 97 (+8%) F18-49: 66 (+55%) P18-34: 28 (-26%) P35-49: 141 (+47%) Non-P18-49: 253 (+31%) F12-34: 14 (+0%) M12-34: 24 (-16%) P25-54: 219 (+28%) P50+: 234 (+29%) Most-viewed YouTube videos from Smackdown, as of 3pm today: The Usos Superkick Roman Reigns to shatter The Bloodline: 2,295,496 The Decision: 1,900,804 Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens break up Pretty Deadly’s celebration: 332,850 Belair confronts Flair on “The Grayson Waller Effect”: 241,247 Jey Uso runs into Sami Zayn ahead of his decision: 233,582 LA Knight crashes LWO’s party: 214,043 AJ Styles & Michin vs. Karrion Kross & Scarlett: 208,209 Zelina Vega vs. IYO SKY: 203,406 Jey Uso suggests Paul Heyman leave The Bloodline: 189,234 Roman Reigns blows off Kayla Braxton in SmackDown arrival: 188,468 Most-viewed YouTube videos from Rampage, as of 3pm today: Can Bandido handle the El Hijo Del Don Callis, Konosuke Takeshita?: 120,197 Taya Valkyrie is Dominant With Her Sights Set On the TBS Championship!: 116,433 Can CHAOS’ Best Friends & Rocky Romero takedown Will Ospreay & United Empire?: 106,236 EXCLUSIVE: Best Friends + Rocky Romero vs. United Empire entrances: 24,625 This ratings report was written with the assistance of automated programs created by me, then manually edited. Subscribers have exclusive access to the Wrestlenomics Viewership Spreadsheet. Brandon Thurston

Brandon Thurston has written about wrestling business since 2015. He’s also worked as an independent wrestler and trainer.

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