Raw Ratings: Another record low as ex-Creative Team members vent about working conditions, Seth says miracle shows are as good as they are

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


The Dec. 10 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw drew a 1.58 rating, lowest of all-time, on USA Network among live and same-night-DVR viewers. The third hour drew a new record low viewership of 2.048. It drew a then-record-low rating of 1.61 last week. Raw is down from a 1.95 rating just over three months ago on Sept. 3 and a 1.87 on Sept. 10.

One year ago, Raw drew a 1.97 on Sept. 13 and a 1.96 on Dec. 4. Two years ago, the Sept. 12 show drew a 1.88 rating and the DEc. 12 episode drew a 1.94 rating,  In other words, this is not a typical seasonal trend.

A rating is a percentage of homes with access to Raw on cable/satellite, so comparisons to past years in that respect is relevant and has nothing to do with cord-cutting trends.

Raw opened with 2.347 million hours in the first hour, 2.186 million in the second hour, and 2.048 in the third hour. The first-hour viewership was actually a bit higher than last week, but still the second-lowest ever, but the TLC main event didn’t hold enough viewers to prevent the record low rating.

Raw’s three hours finished in the top ten of cable ratings among the 18-49 demographic with spots 5, 6, and 7 behind only ESPN’s NFL coverage and VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop.” In total viewers, it was behind only ESPN’s NFL coverage and MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” which drew 3.117 million total viewers.

Ex-WWE Creative Team member Jimmy Jacobs wrote: “Writing a 3 hour wrestling TV show every single week is f—in’ hard.”

Seth Rollins, who wrestled in the main event against Baron Corbin in a TLC showcase match that lasted 25 minutes, reacted on Twitter to what Jacobs wrote. “That’s the one thing I don’t think people understand,” he wrote.” Five hours of live TV every week. EVERY WEEK. Add in all the extraneous variables that affect the final outcome… and it’s a modern miracle that the shows come together as well as they do.”

Ex-WWE Creative Team member Tom Casiello wrote on Twitter that fans don’t have to like what they see, but defended the writers for working hard even if the product isn’t in the end what everyone hopes for.

Casiello also noted that writing every week without a break is part of the challenge of keeping the quality of the show as high as it could be otherwise. “WWE was the MOST CHALLENGING job of my career and I learned more about writing there than anywhere else.

11 Comments on Raw Ratings: Another record low as ex-Creative Team members vent about working conditions, Seth says miracle shows are as good as they are

  1. I get people need to defend their positions but it hasn’t sucked this bad in a long time and Raw has been at 3 hours for quite a while now.

  2. Oh, boo effing hoo. How teddibly, teddibly hard they work to write this SHIT. All you have to do is compare NXT and 205 to the main shows to see the problem: RAW and SD are filled with bad soap opera characters who happen to do “sports entertainment”. NXT and 205 has athletes who WRESTLE. VKM’s desperate desire to compete with the Ice Capades has led him down a path to ruin. And Steph and her writers aren’t helping.

  3. Screw this former writer. He said he used to write soaps which is similar to wrestling I admit but does he know a wristlock from a wristwatch? That is the problem that Stamford has.

    They hire these failed Hollywood writers with no wrestling knowledge or expertise, throw shit against the blackboard and then have to come up with a show. It reminds me of that South Park episode with the Family Guy thing of taking their ideas from swimming dolphins.

    I have watched wrestling on and off for 28 years and I have an appreciation for the history of wrestling and I must say this is the worst I have ever seen. Even worse than 1993-1996 and WCW in 2000 which is a lot more entertaining than this cesspool.

    Rumor has it that the women are going to main event Wrestlemania next year. Are they going to be wearing burkas?

  4. Comparing NXT and 205 Live to Raw is silly, NXT is pretaped and has a one hour weekly run time, 205 Live is the same – it has little to do with the wrestlers or quality of wrestling.

    Make NXT or 205 Live three hours and people will be fed up soon enough due to overexposing the talent, it happened with WCW.

    What I’d give for just two hours wrestling in any given week, now if you want to watch everything WWE offers – Raw, SD, 205, NXT, NXT UK etc – you need 8 hours, that’s a lot of viewing. Would you want to view your favourite show for 8 hours every week?

  5. I get the excuse but they aren’t “writing” anything really. There is no “story” or story arch or interesting thing going on. Mean heel GM isn’t a story. It’s just an easy crutch. Guys like Styles and Rollins are fine but they aren’t good/popular/charismatic enough to carry a show simply by being on screen. You might get away with that on some level for some time with Rock, Austin or even HHH/Cena. NWO was a story. Austin/Vince was a story. McMahon/Helmsley era was a story. DX was a great character(s) doing something. Characters had goals they wanted to accomplish and fans could cheer or boo the character and get into the story.
    Now?
    It’s just people fighting with no apparent consequence to winning or losing.
    Yawn.

  6. WWE has great characters, but it’s true they are scripted bad. Fans do keep up on history and development so you have to take that into account when writing them. You must have subplots there when things might have to swerve. Clever thinking and plotting can get the fans engaged. And of course it’s hard to do but I’d just love to get a crack at that gig. One of the reason I watch is to see what I would do differently.

  7. I have no sympathy at all for these writers or WWE product. I want fans to always say how bad it is and how much the shows suck and always be negative to anything WWE does. And especially be as hostile as possible to Rhonda Rousey because she is horrible to watch. The announcing is atrocious as well.

  8. Why would viewers care how hard the writers’ jobs are? That’s completely irrelevant. It’s their job to write a commercial product that people pay money to watch. If writers can’t get it done, they need to go.

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