SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
This week’s Monday Night Raw on USA Network drew a 1.93 rating counting live and same-night-DVR viewership, which is down from the 1.97 the week before. It’s the first time Raw drew below a 2.0 rating two straight weeks since May 22 and May 29. Raw only dropped below 2.0 twice from June through August.
The same pattern played out last year, with two sub-2.0 ratings to start September. It had only dipped below 2.0 once from June to August of 2016, also. The difference is, Raw had not dropped below 2.0 before that in modern history. So the “new normal” seems to be Raw below 2.0 in the fall up against Monday Night Football.
The show opened with 3.123 million viewers in the first hour, then 2.844 million in the second hour, and 2.532 million in the third hour. The drop of 591,000 viewers is the biggest dropoff of the year and significantly more than double the average of 222,000. The main event was a Six-Pack Challenge to earn no. 1 contendership for the IC Title in a match including the Hardy Boyz.
The ten-week rolling average headed into this week was 2.14. The 2017 average is 2.12. The August average was 2.22. The September average so far is 2.00.
Keller’s Analysis: WWE paid a price for headlining Raw with a Six-Pack Challenge with wrestlers such as Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, Elias, and Jason Jordan – wrestler that haven’t been built to title contender level or just aren’t over at this time. Having Dustin Rhodes vs. Bray Wyatt and Gran Metalik vs. Neville also in the third hour likely drove off viewers, as the big names were already on the show (Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns) and they announced that John Cena wasn’t around at all.