SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE Monday Night Raw last night (10/28) drew a 1.53 rating, down from the previous week’s 1.63 rating. It’s the lowest rating for Raw this year and, arguably, the worst Raw rating ever in any context. Raw drew a 1.54 on June 10 and a 1.56 on Apr. 29, so it’s had dipped into the mid-1.5s before rebounding the next week to average levels.
One year ago this week, Raw drew a 1.74 rating. Two years ago this week it drew a 1.96.
If Vince McMahon was banking on the King’s Court interview with Lana and Rusev holding viewers as a hook, the third hour dipped under two million viewers to a 1.928. It was a 398,000 viewership drop from the first hour, which is well above the 310,000 average first-to-third hour drop-off.
The first hour drew 2.326 million. The second hour drew 2.146 million.
Raw went up against what might end up being the weakest NFL Monday Night Football game on ESPN all year, with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4) vs. Miami Dolphin (0-7).
The drop in Raw ratings coincides with the following:
- Seth Rollins being rejected and booed by fans coming out of the Hell in a Cell match with Bray Wyatt
- NXT on USA adding two hours to the prime time schedule
- The roster being split after six months of most top stars being on both shows
- AEW Dynamite debuting, drawing a million or more viewers most weeks, showing viewers an alternative pro wrestling product and vying for their limited viewership time during the week
- Raw becoming a vehicle to promote the controversial live event in Saudi Arabia later this week, with show whose logo has been booed by WWE fans when appearing on a bit screen and being held in a country that WWE announcers and wrestlers largely avoid saying because of it’s toxic reputation
- Raw becoming perceived as the “B-show” with the A-announce team moving to Friday’s to symbolize the shift in priority, with Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, The Fiend, and the affiliated crossover stars (Tyson Fury, Cain Velasquez) matched against Smackdown wrestlers instead of Raw wrestlers.
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I believe the main reason for the decline in ratings is what I have been saying for at least a year. The product stinks. The storylines stink. The “sports entertainers” just aren’t very entertaining. It has become trendy to take a dump on the product because it is so bad.
When comparing to old ratings, how are you adding in the increases in WWE Network viewership? You are now talking nearly 2 million subscribers. That’s a lot of people to just ignore when pretending to compare year to year #s.