WWE News WWE News: Raw TV ratings are in for Monday's show - how did Raw fare the night after Money in the Bank?
Jul 19, 2011 - 5:25:45 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
WWE Raw on Monday, July 18 following the Money in the Bank PPV scored a 3.22 rating, up from a 2.90 rating last week leading to the PPV.
Raw scored the highest overall rating in eight weeks, which includes two three-hour episodes where the rating was dragged down by a bonus first hour. Compared to the year, Raw was 2.7 percent below the 2011 average of a 3.31 rating.
The overall show averaged 4.84 million viewers off a first hour average of 4.70 million viewers and second hour average of 4.98 million viewers.
On cable TV Monday night, Raw ranked #6 in overall viewers, #2 in males 18-34 behind Pawn Stars on History Channel, and #3 in males 18-49 behind Pawn Stars and American Pickers.
Among younger male viewers (12-34), Raw ranked #2 behind Pawn Stars. Raw was up 19 percent in the demo compared to a near-year-low last week on July 11, but still below the range of m12-34 viewers earlier in the year.
Among key males 18-49, Raw hit a six-week high, but, similar to m12-17, was well below the range from earlier in the year. The end result is a small bounce among adult viewers, but not significant compared to where Raw was earlier this year or even last year.
Last year at this time, the July 19, 2010 episode scored a 3.38 overall rating as John Cena was in the middle of a feud with Nexus leading to Summerslam. The July 26, 2010 episode then increased to a 3.50 rating.
The following is a comparison of this week's July 18, 2011 Raw episode vs. July 19, 2011 in demographic ratings.
-- Adults 18-34: Raw 2011 down 7.6 percent
-- Adults 18-49: Raw 2011 down 12.9 percent
-- Males 18-34: Raw 2011 down 21.8 percent
-- Males 18-49: Raw 2011 down 4.5 percent
-- Males 12-34: Raw 2011 down 23.2 percent
-- Males 12-17: Raw 2011 down 12.3 percent
Caldwell's Analysis: A 3.22 rating isn't where WWE would like to be coming off a buzzworthy Money in the Bank PPV and trying to rebound from a poor 2.90 rating the previous week. Perhaps the end of Raw - with a major on-air authority figure shift - will offset a natural "in-between PPVs" drop-off next week, but there should be concern over whether the angle is connecting with a broad audience. That may have contributed to WWE going for the Big Development with McMahon and Triple H on Monday's Raw.
Now, the question is whether the follow-up next week is strong enough to sustain this angle for weeks and months appealing to the entire audience, not just a segment of the audience. The broad demographic ratings were up this week, but still well below the yearly average and where Raw was at this point in 2010. That could be what WWE looks at trying to determine where they go next.
Looking at the big-picture aspect of this rating, WWE's post-WrestleMania lull has been more pronounced this year, especially after WWE brought in The Rock for Mania and then Rock was pulled away until next year, which may still be affecting audience levels since nothing will seem as important until Rock is re-involved. Fourth of July falling on a Monday this year appears to have had a short-term effect and may have broken some weekly viewing habits for regular Raw viewers.
Also, is the general audience more interested in a storyline such as "Nexus trying to take over Raw" and antagonizing John Cena to put him in jeopardy, as opposed to the "worked shoot" basis for Punk's issue with Cena and McMahon? Punk as a central figure in the angle leading up to the PPV certainly appealed to hardcore viewers with some very strong & compelling performances, but did it capture the entire audience? An okay ratings bump, but not a great ratings bump for a highly-anticipated Raw suggests WWE has some work to do captivating their entire audience, not just a segment.
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