As noted earlier, Friday’s WWE SmackDown episode on FS1 drew just 888,000 viewers. The episode aired on FS1 instead of FOX this week due to MLB World Series coverage airing on FOX. You can read our full ratings report by clicking here.

WWE officials were expecting Friday’s SmackDown to do a similar number to what the show was doing on the USA Network before the move in early October, according to @Wrestlevotes. The final SmackDown USA episode on September 24 drew 2.099 million viewers. The September 17 episode, which was the post-Clash of Champions show, drew 2.064 million viewers and the September 10 episode drew 2.061 million viewers. This week’s show on FS1 came nowhere near 2 million viewers.

The premiere on FOX, which was also the SmackDown 20th Anniversary special, drew 3.888 million viewers while the second episode, the kickoff to the 2019 WWE Draft and the post-Hell In a Cell episode, drew 2.877 million viewers. The October 18 episode, which was the last episode to air on the regular FOX network, drew 2.418 million viewers.

Tony Maglio, who works as The Wrap’s TV Editor, noted on Twitter that it’s not fair to compare the FS1 airing with the regular FOX airing. He also chimed in on the new report from @Wrestlevotes.

“If this is the case (I haven’t asked anyone), then WWE has bigger problems than just #TVRatings. Expecting a Friday show on a modestly sized cable channel against the World Series to get what a Tuesday version did vs limited competition on a Top 5 cable network is not very smart,” Maglio wrote in response to the original report from @Wrestlevotes, noting that WWE officials expected Friday’s SmackDown on FS1 to draw a similar number to what the show was doing on USA.

The @Wrestlevotes account responded “They expected similar numbers to what it was doing on USA, roughly in the ballpark type numbers. And it wasn’t.”

Maglio added an update on his own account, “(2) Especially in a one-off situation where no matter how much you cross-promote it doesn’t reach everyone. While it’s growing as a cable channel and while #SmackDown is better than most FS1 programming, FS1 tied Lifetime last year as the 40th most-watched cable channel.”

A fan chimed in and said, “FS1 is in 80 million homes, USA in 85 million homes. They also got plugged during the Thursday Night Football game and on RAW..”

Maglio responded and noted that WWE lost the casual viewers this week. He wrote, “Availability (it’s more like a 7mm disparity with USA) and plugs help, but those aren’t the whole picture. We could talk about how many homes Fox is available in too. FS1 is not a popular or easy-to-find channel. I assume the DVRs didn’t auto-forward either. They lost the casuals”

You can see the related tweets below and read our viewership report on Friday’s SmackDown by clicking here. SmackDown returns to FOX this Friday night.