SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Monday’s episode of Monday Night Raw drew a 1.75 rating for live and same-night-DVR viewership on USA Network. This is among the lowest all-time ratings for the show. It ties the 1.75 rating from May 29.
The ten-week rolling average headed into this week is 2.07.
This week’s episode went up against the Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game on ABC which drew 20 million viewers, which affected viewership great. In fact, the 2.77 million first hour viewership wasn’t far off from the six-week average before this week of 2.84 million. When the NBA game began, the viewership dropped sharply.
The third hour average dropped 434,000 viewers compared to the first. That’s nearly double the average first-to-third hour drop-off.
A year ago this week, Raw drew a 2.03 rating.
Keller’s Analysis: It’s not fair to read too much into one week’s rating when it goes up against a huge sporting event. That said, the “acceptable floor” for Raw’s ratings once outside factors are accounted for is getting lower and lower. If Raw eventually hits a 1.5, will there be excuse-making? Because eventually these lower numbers are going to take a big chunk out of their next TV deal. That said, I’m not sure there are any quick fixes because I don’t see Vince McMahon entertaining any big changes in the product to try to put viewership on an upward instead of downward trend. It did seem, with the format of the show, WWE was resigned to this being a big off-week in terms of viewership by putting the top attraction Brock Lesnar in the first hour unopposed by the NBA and headlining with the Hardys vs. Sheamus & Cesaro.