SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The first WWE Monday Night Raw episode of the year drew a 1.64 rating on USA Network, up from the 1.31 and 1.22 ratings for the holiday editions, but not much above the prior ten-week average for non-holiday shows of 1.69. Although it went up against the College Football Championship, it fell well below the year-ago rating of 1.92 and the two-years-ago rating of 2.09 which fell on weeks Raw also faced the big college football game.
The hourly viewership began at 2.609 million, dropped to 2.294 million, and then fell again to 2.070 million for a drop-off from the first-to-third hours of 539,000, the highest since Nov. 12.
The College Football Championship drew 24.322 million viewers, ten times Raw’s viewership. That means next week’s rating is really the first of rating in a while that will show WWE where the new water level is for the peak Royal Rumble to WrestleMania stretch without football competition.
Raw dropped to positions 7, 8, and 10 in the rankings, behind only college football related shows on ESPN that fills every other slot in the top ten. The Raw rating in the key 18-49 demo grew to 0.9 in hour one, but then 0.8 and 0.7 in the next two hours.