Smackdown’s move to FOX was obviously very beneficial for WWE and it remains the only WWE show to actually increase its average from the previous year, although not by much.
For 2020, Smackdown’s audience had an average of 2,182,000 viewers, a very slight increase from the 2,168,000 average of 2019. But considering the pandemic and the fact that people started to tune out when fans left the arenas, this has to be considered somewhat of a win. The last time Smackdown had fans in the arena was the March 6 episode which did 2,452,000 viewers.
Smackdown crossed the 2.5 million viewer mark on six different weeks in 2020 and it was only 11 times that it did not cross the 2 million viewership. The show hit a bit of a rough patch between May and August, but once the move to the ThunderDome happened, viewership recovered a little bit.
The most-watched Smackdown was on Christmas day with 3,303,000 viewers thanks in part to a massive lead-in from the NFL. After that, it was the February 28 episode which got the most viewers with 2,716,000 tuning in.
Smackdown was pre-empted twice on FOX, once for the NBA and once for college football. On both occasions, the show did miserable numbers on FS1, with 881,000 viewers registered on October 23 and just 1,103,000 viewers registered on December 18. Taking those two episodes out, Smackdown’s lowest number came on July 3 with 1,776,000 viewers.