WWE Backstage viewership rises 80% for CM Punk's first appearance as an analyst

CM Punk

CM Punk promised to 'change the culture' and be brutally honest when he surprisingly popped up at the end of last week's episode of WWE Backstage.

The former world champion made his first official appearance as an analyst for FOX on Tuesday night, and he spoke his feelings on the current product, responded to Seth Rollins [sort of] and discussed what the future holds for himself.

Punk had to state bluntly that he was signed to FOX and he'd had no discussions with anyone in WWE about an in-ring return, but he refused to close the door entirely on it ever happening.

Until he and WWE build bridges, we'll just have to enjoy Punk talking about what's happening on Raw, SmackDown and NXT instead, but GiveMeSport have mapped out what should happen if Punk did return to the ring in the near future - you can check that out here.

With Punk's appearance advertised a week in advance, you'd probably expect the viewing figures to have increased with his 'return'.

Well the figures are in and there's every reason to be positive about them.

Tuesday's episode with Punk did 180,000 viewers, which was an 80,000 viewer increase from the week prior, which also means an 80 per cent jump.

CM Punk's return to WWE-related programming saw Backstage get a viewership increase boost

The official premiere two weeks ago only did 49,000 viewers, so we're seeing a good increase week-by-week - now it's up to WWE to stabilise or increase that number even more.

You'd probably have expected Punk's return to pop a bigger number, but the show is broadcast on Fox Sports 1 at 11PM Eastern Time in the States - which isn't really an ideal time for many.

Compare it to the two preview shows that happened on the 15th and 25th of October that drew 597,000 and 426,000 respectively, they were on at earlier times on the East coast.

The numbers with Punk there are still way down on the two preview shows, but if WWE and FOX can find a way to push the timing of the show forward a few hours, they'll no doubt reap the rewards.

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