An in-depth look at how AEW beat NXT in almost every aspect on Wednesday night

Oct 5, 2019 - by Colin Vassallo

All Elite Wrestling beat NXT on Wednesday night in three out of four demographics, losing just one demo by 0.02 and more than doubling NXT’s numbers throughout the broadcast for the other three.

It was a big home run for the promotion spearheaded by Tony Khan as 1.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the show live and another 400,000 saw the immediate replay at 10PM, delivering a total of 1.8 million viewers for the night. AEW Dynamite had 5/4 odds of doing more than 1.25 million viewers for its debut episode, with bookmakers confident of a successful debut but not probably envisioning the final number. Speaking of which, Fanduel in WV is now available with a complete sports book.

Looking at specific demographics, AEW beat NXT 0.56 to 0.23 in the 18-34, 0.68 to 0.32 in 18-49, 0.74 to 0.36 in 25-54, and narrowly losing 0.36 to 0.34 in the 50+ category.

A minute-by-minute viewership comparison uploaded by a r/squaredcircle user shows that AEW started strong in the first half hour of the show and then slowly declined throughout the show before picking up viewers again in the last 25 minutes while NXT had a steady flow of viewers which increased slightly as the broadcast went on.

Big curiosity led to AEW having a fantastic opening 45 minutes as the 8:00-8:15, 8:15-8:30, and 8:30-8:45 were the strongest for Dynamite. The first two quarter hours were also the parts of the show where AEW completely dominated NXT with the largest gap in the two-hour broadcast. The last quarter hour was also a big win for AEW, growing significantly from the seventh quarter hour.

There was no quarter hour where NXT beat AEW during the show and NXT’s best segment still failed to beat AEW’s lowest segment. NXT had its best number in the sixth quarter hour between 9:15 and 9:30 and it was the closest the two shows got to each other in terms of viewers.

After AEW Dynamite went off the air and the replay started, NXT picked up over 100,000 viewers in the final 10 minutes, but this overrun was only set for this week’s show and next week NXT will end at 10PM.

In terms of actual viewers, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer published the numbers segment by segment. The opening of the show had AEW top 1.6 million viewers while NXT started with 913,000. When the first match of each show started, AEW dropped to 1.55 million and NXT rose to 981,000 for the NXT title match.

The next three matches all lost a bunch of viewers throughout the show, with MJF vs Cutler declining by 110,000 viewers and Shirai vs Yim declining by 15,000. Page vs PAC lost 125,000 viewers while Gargano vs Thorne shedded 50,000 viewers. The AEW Women’s title match lost only 1,000 viewers but Baszler vs LaRae for the NXT Women’s title lost 20,000.

Dunne vs Burch gained 29,000 viewers for NXT while the six-man tag team main event for AEW recovered 67,000 viewers. The big loser was the NXT main event for the NXT Tag Team titles with the match losing 193,000 viewers against AEW’s main event.

Meltzer also notes that in the main event, AEW had 575,000 teenagers watching the show and NXT had only 120,000 and in the 18-34 demo, AEW did 444,000 to NXT’s 145,000. The 18-49 demo saw AEW with a whopping 629,000 viewers to 228,000 for NXT. Women 18-49 also showed up for the main event as AEW did 280,000 to 126,000 for NXT.

It should be noted that for Nielsen metrics, if any viewer watches more than five minutes in a quarter hour, it’s counted as a full quarter hour so any fans who went back and forth for five minutes, they were counted for both shows.

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