Smackdown improved slightly in the ratings compared to last year since moving to USA Network and switching to a live broadcast on Tuesday nights.
In 52 broadcasts, Smackdown only managed to crack the 3 million viewers once for the July 19 draft broadcast. It surpassed the 2.5 million viewer mark 16 times and failed to go over the 2 million viewer mark only twice.
As expected, the draft episode of Smackdown on July 19 was the most-watched Smackdown episode of 2016 with 3,170,000 viewers tuning in. The last Smackdown of 2016, with the return of John Cena and three title matches, was the second most-watched episode of the year with 2,885,000 viewers. The August 29 episode was close with 2,835,000 viewers, while the January 21 and November 15 episodes drew good numbers as well with 2,757,000 and 2,725,000 viewers respectively. The November 15 episode was the 900th episode of the show with appearances from The Undertaker and Edge.
The June 9 and November 8 episodes were the least watched this year, with 1.99 million viewers tuning in for the June episode and 1.92 million viewers for the November 8 show. The November 8 show went head-to-head with the U.S. Presidential election results and has the lowest viewer turnout for a non-holiday Smackdown episode.
Prior to going live on Tuesday nights, Smackdown averaged 2,335,000 viewers every week while from July 19, when it went live and changed to Tuesdays, the show averaged 2,516,000 viewers.
Overall, Smackdown did an average of 2.42 million viewers in 2016, up from the 2.36 million from 2015. Smackdown had 2.64 million average viewers in 2014 and 2.66 million viewers in 2013 on average.
It managed to beat Raw twice in viewership this year, with the draft episode and the December 27 episode pulling more viewers, albeit small, than Raw did in the same week.
You can see the chart of the viewership for 2016 for Smackdown below.