Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Ray's UK Rating's Report: Week Ending July 31st 2011

Courtesy of the Broadcaster's Audience Research Board (BARB) here are the UK TV ratings for wrestling programming that ranked in the top 10's for their respective channels on the week ending July 31st 2011:

1TNA PRESENTS IMPACT WRESTLING (Tue, Challenge , 2202)234,000
2WWE LATE NIGHT RAW – LIVE (Mon, Sky Sport 3, 2600)156,000
3WWE LATE NIGHT SMACKDOWN (Fri, Sky Sports 2, 2201)128,000
4TNA PRESENTS IMPACT WRESTLING (Sat, Challenge, 2100)122,000
5TNA XPLOSION (Wed, Challenge, 2200)Under 122,000
6WWE BOTTOM LINE (Sat, Sky Sports 3, 1200)53,000
7WWE SUPERSTARS (Sat, Sky Sports 4, 2200)15,000
Despite being down from it's all time high viewership record last week (282,000 viewers), it's IMPACT Wrestling on Challenge that remains the most watched wrestling show in the UK and Ireland. The show garnered 234,000 viewers for the Tuesday July 26th episode headlined by a Sting & Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson & Bully Ray Tag-Team bout.

WWE RAW drew 156,000 viewers for it's Monday July 25th episode which featured a John Cena vs. Rey Mysterio Main Event and the highly anticipated return of CM Punk. There were no figures released last week for the Sky Sports channels so I am unable to determine whether or not this was a rise in viewership but the number does seem larger than RAW's usual numbers so I would suspect this was a rise in viewers this week, sparked largely by the interest of CM Punk's impending return and Triple H's first complete RAW as COO.

Both IMPACT Wrestling and RAW remain the most watched shows on their respective channels.

WWE's other flagship show, Smackdown, garnered 128,000 viewers for it's Friday July 29th edition which was headlined by a Randy Orton vs. R-Truth Main Event.

Here's how the total's look for the year to date since IMPACT's return to UK Television on Challenge:

Weekly Ratings Wins so far (2011)*:
IMPACT Wrestling – 21
WWE Smackdown – 2

*Based on first showing viewing figures, not inclusive of +1 or replay figures.


  1. Its fair to say the only reason why TNA is no.1 is because its shown on the Freeview platform (Challenge TV), not everyone has Sky tv, where as most of the UK now has a Freeview box in preparation for the digital switchover :)

  2. That's a common misconception Godsdice. Sure Freeview channels are available in more homes, but that isn't the sole reason that TNA is outdrawing WWE ratings wise. Channel availability does not always translate into viewers. Do you think WWE would swap channels right now with TNA if offered? Not a chance.

    TNA is on a much smaller channel, not to mention a channel which has no track record of showing pro wrestling and is effectively branded as a gameshow channel. The TNA programming is rarely promoted by BSKYB also, with ads limited to only when IMPACT Wrestling or Xplosion is actually broadcasting.

    WWE on the other hand are on easily the premier channels for sports content, with a long history of showing Pro Wrestling and the programming is heavily promoted with multiple adds across the Sky branded channels.

    I also think its grossly unfair to the hardworking folks at TNA to suggest that being on Freeview is the sole reason for their success. Was Bravo on Freeview? No; Were TNA beating WWE ratings wise whilst on Bravo? Yes! The producers and talent at TNA put out great programming each and every week and make it easy for the viewer to change the channel to Challenge every Tuesday night.

    Whatever way you slice it, the reasoning behind why TNA is outdrawing WWE is irrelevant in the end. The fact is more eyeballs are watching IMPACT Wrestling than RAW or Smackdown each week, their being exposed to the product and the characters and are ultimately becoming fans and buying tickets to the already hugely popular UK tours. That's an issue WWE needs to address before it's too late.