SmackDown Live ratings have been a problem for WWE ever since Fox took over the broadcasts and moved them to Friday nights, and things didn't get better this week.
According to Showbuzz Daily (h/t WrestlingInc.com), the first hour of SmackDown netted 2.445 million viewers, followed by 2.255 million in the second. The overnight ratings were 2.35 million.
This is a significant drop-off from the 2.617 million from last week. If you exclude the Oct. 25 episode that hit 888,000 viewers (the show was moved to FS1 because of the World Series, last night's episode marked SmackDown's worst ratings since Sept. 24 (2.099 million.
WrestlingInc.com keeps track of the viewership for every week. The average viewership for each episode in 2018 was 2.352 million, so last night's episode fell in line with those numbers.
WWE has tried making significant changes to their product over the last few weeks. Eric Bischoff was relieved as the Executive Director of SmackDown Live, and he was replaced by long-time WWE producer Bruce Prichard.
The 2019 MLB postseason played a role in SmackDown's ratings throughout the month of October, as evidenced by the poor ratings when the show had to move to FS1 on Oct. 25. With MLB out of the way, SmackDown has to find a way to hit stronger numbers over the long run.
SmackDown Product Needs Fixing
At the end of the day, the best way for SmackDown to gain better ratings is to put a better product on television. Not a whole lot has changed on the show since Prichard replaced Bischoff, and fans aren't being given enough reason to tune in on Friday nights, one of the most undesirable TV time slots. We'll find out soon enough if Prichard is able to work his magic and help the show reach strong numbers.