-- Lesson #1 for WWE: don't air SmackDown on the same night as a national election. Tuesday's "live" episode of SmackDown scored a 1.52 (1.5) cable rating, with 2.20 million viewers. That rating is down 0.4 from the usual Friday night rating and the viewership is the lowest first-run episode of the year, with only the July 6th rebroadcast of a live SmackDown bringing in fewer viewers.
The show was ranked #20 among cable TV shows for the night and #14 among the male 18 - 34 and male 18 - 49 demographics. The demographic ratings didn't fall nearly as much as the overall rating did. That suggests that it was casual viewers who skipped the show, presumably for election coverage.
Below is the viewership of the live SmackDowns this year:
Feb. 21 - 2.33 million viewers
Apr. 10 - 2.25 million viewers
July 3 - 2.54 million viewers
Nov. 6 - 2.20 million viewers
-- WWE Executive Vice President of Creative Stephanie McMahon was a special guest speaker Wednesday at the The SportsBusiness Journal's 2012 Covington & Burling Sports Media & Technology Conference in Times Square in New York City and was asked whether she has plans to follow in her mother's footsteps and run for office. She simply replied "No."
McMahon addressed the status of the WWE Network during the conference, noting, "Right now we're looking at a pay subscription model, not unlike HBO." She also singled out as Ryback as the WWE Superstar to "watch out for."