WWE News WWE News: Raw ratings & TV viewership for Monday night's "season premiere" episode
Sep 14, 2010 - 10:37:02 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
Monday night's episode of WWE Raw tied for the lowest rating of the year with a 3.00 rating, the same as last week's Labor Day episode.
Raw averaged 4.35 million viewers over the course of the show. The show averaged 4.21 million viewers in the first hour and 4.49 million viewers in the second hour.
Other than last week's Raw, Monday's episode was seen by the fewest number of viewers since the May 3 episode during the post-WrestleMania lull season.
-- Raw was banking on the "season premiere" theme, John Cena vs. Randy Orton in the TV main event, and a guest appearance by NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco to counter very strong programming on Monday night.
Raw, which usually top dominates the top cable TV rankings on Monday nights, was the #8 most-watched show of the night, just on cable TV. Raw trailed both Monday Night Football games on ESPN, "The Closer" and "Rizzoli & Isles" on TNT, and two episodes of "Pawn Stars" and one episode of "American Pickers" on the History Channel.
-- Looking at the demographic numbers, Raw took a hit in every major demographic except for males 12-17. If not for a strong increase to a 3.24 from a 2.80 rating in the demo, Raw likely would have dipped below a 3.00 overall rating.
Programs such as Monday Night Football and Pawn Stars up against the second hour of Raw drew away WWE's key male demographic.
Among males 18-49, Raw scored a 2.28 rating, which was down from last week's 2.52 rating. Two weeks earlier, Raw scored a 2.85 rating in the demo. That's a 20 percent decline over a two-week period.
Caldwell's Analysis: Competition is very tough on Monday nights with History Channel delivering some very strong programming with the usual slate of football on ESPN aimed at WWE's core male demographic. We started to see History Channel's Monday night programming make noise last fall and now it's clear they're a big player on Monday nights. On the football front, ESPN won't have the benefit of "Week 1 hype" and a great match-up every week, but it's clear the ratings benchmark to aim for this fall is a 3.00 rating. They need a consistent program or a big star to really get behind over the next three months or else it could be a long fall season.
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