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Last night’s episode (9/9) of WWE Monday Night Raw drew a 1.71 rating, up from last week’s 1.70, but below the ten-week rolling average headed into this week of 1.78.
Raw went up against ESPN’s NFL Monday Night Football games for the first time this season, including a thrilling game one between the New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans. The big drop-off for Raw, though, came in the third hour up against the start of the second game between the Raiders and Denver Broncos.
The first hour drew 2.362 million viewers, the second hour dropped to 2.183 million, and the third hour drew 1.845 million. That’s a first-to-third drop-off of 517,000 viewers, the largest since Apr. 22. There were two drop-offs of more than 600,000 in January and February this year. That indicates that Steve Austin’s appearance gave a boost to the first hour, but without a promise or even an indication he’d be back after that opening segment, many viewers switched to football.
The NFL games drew 10 million viewers and 13 million viewers.
“Straight Up Steve Austin” dropped to a series-low viewership of 841,000, an indication that his demographic matches the NFL demographic quite a bit.
One year ago this week Raw drew a 1.87 rating. Two years ago this week Raw drew a 1.97 rating. Both of the last two years were drop-offs from the prior week, which indicates that Austin’s appearance and holding Raw at Madison Square Garden helped stave off what is likely to be a sharper drop-off up against Monday Night Football next week.