SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
WWE Monday Night Raw last night (4/13) drew a 1.40 rating, down from last week’s “Day After Mania” 1.51 rating and slightly above the 1.38 from two weeks ago, but among the lowest ratings ever for the series.
One year ago this week, Raw drew a 1.88 rating, down from the prior week’s 2.03 “Raw After Mania” rating, but above the 1.80 from two weeks earlier.
Is empty-venue TV wrestling costing WWE viewers or is this just a typical Raw drop-off? The numbers indicate it’s more than a typical post-WrestleMania drop-off.
- 2020 ratings average for the last four weeks (March 23 through Apr. 13): 1.44
- 2020 ratings average for Raw through the final episode with a crowd (March 9): 1.62
- DIFFERENCE: Drop-off of 0.18
- 2019 ratings average for the same four weeks (mid-March to mid-April): 1.88
- 2019 ratings average for the same period through early March: 1.87
- DIFFERENCE: Growth of 0.01.
- 2018 ratings for same four weeks (mid-March to mid-April): 2.43
- 2018 ratings average for the same period through early March: 2.26
- DIFFERENCE: Growth of 0.17
So there is evidence that empty-venue wrestling is driving away a significant number of viewers compared to what would be expected over this timespan otherwise. So Raw viewership has taken a hit of 11 percent so far during a period where in the past two years, ratings actually grew slightly.
If there’s a “bright side,” it’s that in the four weeks, ratings have bounced around a bit, but there hasn’t been a steady cliff drop. This week’s rating is between the two other empty-arena low points from one and three weeks ago, excluding the “Raw After Mania” bump and the first week when viewers didn’t know what to expect. The real key is going to be the next few weeks as a the “new normal” for Raw takes hold, assuming WWE continues to produce new content in this format and setting without major changes.
Despite the ratings drop-off, in the 18-49 demographic, WWE Raw on USA was the top rated non-news show, and finished in positions 3, 5, and 7 among all Monday night cable shows in that key demographic. Only VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop” produced an hour of TV that beat two of Raw’s hours other than news programming.
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