AEW Dynamite Ratings: Winter Is Coming Rebounds In Total Viewers, Down In 18-49

AEW Winter is coming garnered 948,000 viewers, up 8% from last week per Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics.

Despite the big increase in total viewership, Dynamite’s TV special drew 398,000 (.31) in the 18-49 demo, which is down 7% from last week’s 18-49 viewership of 430,000 (.33). This is the first time AEW Dynamite has drawn over 900,000 viewers since November 17, however AEW Dynamite’s viewership has now been under one million for 10 consecutive weeks. Dynamite ranked No. 5 in the Top 50 original cable telecasts.

AEW Dynamite advertised an AEW World Championship match between Bryan Danielson and Hangman Adam Page. With little else advertised on the show, some fans were expecting surprises and debuts, similar to Sting’s memorable debut at last year’s “Winter is Coming.” Instead, the truncated card gave way to an entertaining hour-long battle between Danielson and Page, which controversially ended in a draw.

AEW Dynamite “Winter is Coming” Ratings | December 16, 2021

  • AEW Dynamite Total Viewership—948,000 viewers
  • AEW Dynamite 18-49 Viewership—398,000 (.31)

Fans in Garland, Texas booed the finish vociferously, even chanting “one more minute!” after waiting around—with bated breath—for an hour and given an anticlimactic finish. Hangman vs. Danielson’s match was a pro wrestling experiment that will reveal a lot about viewership patterns. It will be interesting to see the quarter-hour breakdowns in the first hour, and whether or not this marathon match was able to build an audience over the course of an hour. Furthermore, after opening with its main event and boldly booking a draw after 60 minutes, how many fans stuck around for what was a paint-by-the-numbers card outside of its world championship opener?

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Such a wrestling-centric match and show will appeal to hardcore fans, which many believe are the last fans standing who watch pro wrestling.

In an interview with the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, AEW President Tony Khan recently echoed CM Punk’s sentiments that he feels hardcore fans are exclusively watching pro wrestling:

“I understand it, there used to be a more broad base of people watching wrestling and now it’s really like all of television, hardcore fans,” Khan admitted.

“It makes what the National Football League does that more impressive that the audience for the NFL has grown while the audience for TV has shrunk and shrunk and shrunk. The TV audience goes down 9% a year, it’s gone down 9% last year, 9% the year before, and it’s down 18% the last two years.”

The Winter is Coming main event saw MJF retain the Dynamite Diamond Ring over Dante Martin as MJF won the ring for a third consecutive year. Following the three-peat by the top heel, CM Punk, Darby Allin and Sting all made unadvertised appearances to send the fans home happy.

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