PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.
(Search “wade keller” to subscribe in podcast app or CLICK HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts.)
Raw on Monday drew a 1.70 rating, the lowest rating in years other than other holiday ratings. It barely beat out the Christmas night episode rating last year of 1.69.
The first hour drew a 2.593 million, the second hour 2.591 million, and the third hour 2.300 million The dropoff from the first to third hour of 293,000 was 100,000 below the average dropoff this year despite going up against the final period of the competitive game one of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. Raw also went up against the NBA Western Conference finals game seven.
The third hour viewership was 2.300 million is the lowest hourly number dating back to the start of 2017, although the June 12, 2017 episode drew a third hour viewership was 2.335.
One year ago, Raw drew a 1.75 rating. Two years ago Raw drew a 2.19 rating.
The monthly average for Raw was 1.86, tied with last year’s monthly average. It’s below the two-years-ago May average of 2.25.
The current ten week rolling average is 2.14, buoyed by the episodes before and after WrestleMania.
These numbers might be alarming if not for the fact that Raw, even with occasional dips like this, is still among the top rated cable shows. Also, Monday night was a special circumstance given the competition from two compelling pro sports playoff games and it was Memorial Day.
The NBA game drew 14.8 million viewers, a huge sports rating, and the NHL game drew 5.195 million, more than double Raw’s rating. Still, Raw’s three hours finished fifth, sixth, and eighth in the cable rankings among 18-49 year olds, a key advertising demo.
The NBA playoff game, the NBA post-show, and the NBA pre-show along with VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” were the only shows to beat Raw in that key demo. The NHL game isn’t on the list because it aired on the NBC broadcast network, not cable.
In overall viewership last week (week ending May 21), Raw’s first two hours ranked no. 17 and 18 in cables top 25, and the third hour dropped out of the top 25. The top 11 spots were for the NBA games and post-shows. The next four spots were for Hannity on Fox News. Then another SportsCenter after an NBA game came in at 16. Four other Fox News shows and two MSNBC episodes of “The Rachel Maddow Show” rounded out the top 24, with the NBCSN broadcast a NHL playoff game seven last week closed at no. 25.
WWE is on the verge of finalizing its two biggest TV contracts with NBCU and Fox for Raw and Smackdown respectively beginning with the new contract period starting in October 2019. Ratings like these might have been alarming under other circumstances, but it’s a blip they can brush off as largely meaningless given the context of modern cable competition and the reality of what their shows are valued at by networks even with relatively rough weeks like this.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S RATINGS REPORT: Raw Ratings: Viewership down, third hour dropoff highest in last month, key metrics including versus NBA and NHL, cable ranking