A look at the 2023 Smackdown television tapings

Jan 7, 2024 - by Colin Vassallo

Friday Night Smackdown on FOX managed to increase its audience in 2023 compared to the prior year, with an average of 2,220,635 viewers, up by just over 97,000 viewers when comparing it to the average of 2,123,442 in 2022. This is the second year in a row that its audience went up year-over-year.

In the 18-49 demographic, Smackdown finished 2023 with an average of 0.58, up 0.07 from the 0.51 average of 2022, following in Raw’s footsteps of a younger audience watching the show.

Smackdown went over 2.5 million viewers on six different occasions throughout the year, much better than the two episodes which did that in the year before.

The most-watched episode of Smackdown was the August 25 edition which celebrated the lives of Bray Wyatt and Terry Funk. 2,647,000 viewers tuned in for the broadcast and had a 0.78 rating in 18-49, which was also the best number of the year. The September 15 episode with the return of John Cena did 2,569,000 viewers and a 0.70 rating in 18-49 while the June 2 broadcast rounded up the top three with 2,563,000 viewers but a higher 0.73 rating in 18-49.

The least-watched episodes of the show came when Smackdown aired on FS1 because it was pre-empted from FOX due to other sports. The November 24 episode on the eve of Survivor Series only did 789,000 viewers and a 0.26 rating in 18-49. The October 27 show had 1,145,000 viewers and 0.35 rating in 18-49 while the July 21 broadcast did 1,230,000 viewers and 0.36 rating in 18-49.

The least-watched show on FOX was the December 29 Best Of episode which did 1,335,000 viewers and 0.28 rating in 18-49, a record low for Smackdown on FOX. The December 1 episode was the lowest of a regular Smackdown on FOX with 2,044,000 viewers and 0.59 in 18-49.

Smackdown topped all network TV during most weeks throughout the year and on most occasions was the #1 rated show on all of television as well.

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