There is some internal frustration within WWE regarding the poor SmackDown ratings as of late, especially because the company’s Friday night show is generally regarded as a higher-quality show than RAW as far as the wrestling is concerned.
One of the two factors being blamed for SmackDown’s low viewership is the fact that RAW is suffering right now. WWE’s research leads them to believe that a large portion of their audience only watches wrestling on Mondays now, and judges the entire company’s product based off that one show despite SmackDown being a completel 180 degrees different from RAW. Vince has been strict about wanting his three main shows (RAW, ECW and SD) to all have different feels to them, with RAW being the sports-entertainment variety show and SmackDown being the wrestling show.
The second factor being blamed for the poor ratings is the fact that SmackDown airs on MyNetworkTV. The network is in pretty rough shape right now, and starting next year the only new show on the entire channel will be SmackDown and everything else will be repeats of other shows from other networks.