SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Monday’s Raw viewership was up a little, but the rating was down a little (due to a variance in how the two numbers are computed). The rating came in at 1.89, compared to the 1.90 last week. That is well below the 2017 average of 2.18, well below the ten-week rolling average coming into this week of 2.20, and way below the year-ago rating of 2.27.
Viewership, despite two significant big matches advertised and presented in hours two and three, dropped each hour. The first hour viewership 2.88 million dropped to 2.72 and then 2.65 in the third. The dropoff from the first to the third hour was 239,000, actually slightly below the 2017 average of 246,000. It’s rare, though, for the second hour to draw less than the third hour. March 20 was the last time that happened.
Keller’s Analysis: No matter the excuses regarding YouTube, Hulu, and the general downward trend of cable ratings, considering what a big slice of WWE’s current revenue pie comes from TV rights fees which are based almost entirely on Raw delivery eyeballs to advertisers on Monday nights on USA Network, the 18 percent drop compared to a year ago is reason for concern. This is a show built largely around Roman Reigns, and while he be popular with a segment of the fanbase, the absence of any data that suggests he’s offsetting a downward trend in ratings relative to if the resources were invested in someone else means he cannot, objectively, be put in the category of breakout top stars who earned their spot based on results in the biggest statistical categories.