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Estimated Viewership For AEW TV Premiere From Industry Insiders

Estimated viewership for AEW's TV show are in

AEW on TNT

Back in May, it was officially announced that AEW would air a weekly TV show on TNT later this year. 

Although not confirmed, the rumor is that AEW will start to air their show on Wednesday nights starting on October 2nd, which is the same week when WWE SmackDown Live will move to Friday nights on FOX. 

Dave Meltzer noted on the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio that industry insiders are estimating that the debut episode will average 400,000 – 500,000 viewers.

Viewership for episodes after the premiere is unknown but will be interesting to follow as TNT averaged 1.323 million viewers in prime time in 2018. The pre-show for All In, Zero Hour, averaged 196,000 viewers on WGN America with it ranking 85th for the day on cable and was the only show from WGN America to make the top 150 list. 

AEW To Make Big Announcement About TNT Show

With such a move on a big-time TV network, which is the same that WCW aired on, many fans are excited about the possibility of such a move will bring to the pro wrestling business. 

Since the launch of the promotion back in January, many fans expect to see AEW bring competition to WWE that hasn’t been seen since WCW closed down in 2001.

9 COMMENTS

  1. This is really dumb. There is zero way to intellectually predict the viewership for an entirely new show, especially with cable networks who’s shows spike a plummet on a hourly basis.

    Sounds like The Meltz is just guesstimating and posing as a general tv ratings expert. Keep in mind his numbers are prob 25% higher then actuals because is he’s a low-key AEW paid employee.

  2. The insiders he’s citing are probably making their estimates based on social media traffic, ppv buys, and the viewership for the preshows, Fyter Fest, and FftF. It’s still just an estimate, and nowhere close to an exact science. I’m not one to defend Meltzer, but I would say those are either the correct estimates or a little low. Reason being, Meltzer would not want to report that their debut didn’t perform to expectations. If he says 400-500k and they do 600-700k, then they can spin it as a win. If he says 800-900k and they do the same number, it’s a disappointment.

  3. Im sorry aew has no big stars. And they are not CREATING wrestling fans from scratch. They’ll get 1/4 of wwe viewership max, and less overseas.

    I think the one thing I hate about AEW most is their blindedly optimistic ‘they can do no wrong’ fans.

  4. I agree with you for the most part but there are wrestling fans that don’t watch WWE. So the idea they can only get a quarter of the WWE fans is wrong. There are fans out there waiting for an alternative and AEW will present that. How many, who knows, but I think the estimate is fair.

    I’m far from an AEW fanboy also. I can’t wait to see how they’d spin ratings that are prime TNA numbers as being a real shift in power. If you listen to some fans it seems they think AEW will premiere to a million fans right away.

  5. I am going to predict the number will be higher than 500k because I have a feeling there will be some WCW fans that didn’t bother with WWE, might be tuning in, if no other reason nostalgia. I wouldn’t be surprise if the do just under a million on its debut. Will it be consistent probably not, but there is going to be a pretty big initial pop. Plus there will be WWE fans that who also watch TNT for whatever reason, that want to try and relive the 1990s (albeit not exactly the same since they are not going head to head, but close enough). I think 750k is easily doable for their debut night.

  6. 100% of AEWs fans live on the internet. So 10 loud fanboys gets perceived as 500 tv viewers.

    TNA had people like Hogan, sting, angle, the hardys, etc ….all of which are bigger than anything aew has. And that was during a time more people in general watched wrestling on TV.

    …I dont listen to any fans, LOL

  7. It’s hard for me to say, honestly. I originally thought they’d be around 800-900k, but it doesn’t seem like they will even come close to that unless Punk shows up at All Out. The FftF #’s were down 10-14% from Fyter Fest and they seem to have lost some momentum. I would say 500k is a fair guess.

  8. That is one thing AEW and Turner are going to have to address, the price per show is just too high. I would suggest that the reason why the numbers for Fyter Fest was done was simply because it wasn’t a big feel show, and people being more finicky with their money (Like myself) are waiting on All Out. The price per show is going to have to come down, not necessarily to WWE Network levels (that would be insane) but $49.95 is just a bit steep. You make mention of Punk and All Out, I am still of the opinion (right or wrong) that the best possible play would be for him to debut on the TV product. Sure there would be some buzz if he were to show up at All Out, but I think long term the buzz would fade between All Out and TNT debut. Where as the strongest buzz long term would be if he just strolls onto the TNT show. 500k is a good conservative estimation, but I am optimistic for reasons previous noted that they could slightly higher viewership (and I think the TNT marketing machine has yet to really get going — Not sure what their huge announcement is as of yet, so that is also wait and see). Hopefully I am correct with my assessment, but people shouldn’t be too disappointed if it hits 500k because AEW seems to have some sort of long term vision (which was lacking with other promotions but I won’t mention any names).

  9. Their PPV costs are nuts, but Fyter Fest and FftF were streamed free, so that doesn’t really affect those numbers. In fact, it’s a big concern that they only got 140-150k viewers for the free Fyter Fest show after getting 100k buys at $50 a pop for DoN.

    IF they can get Punk, it would be better to have him appear at All Out so TNT can market him for the debut episode to get that big opening number.

    500k is a great # for a non-WWE wrestling show, but it’s a bad # for a TNT primetime show. They cancel shows with around 800-900k viewers. If they can’t top 1 million consistently, they will either get shoved off onto a smaller Turner network or cancelled entirely.

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