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WWE News: Monday Night Raw viewership down as 2017 comes to a close

Simon Cotton
3.20K   //    28 Dec 2017, 09:12 IST

The last title change and Raw episode of 2017
The final RAW episode of 2017 saw a dip in ratings

What’s the story?

The Christmas Day edition of Monday Night Raw, the flagship WWE show, averaged 2.703 million viewers and was down 83,000 viewers from last week’s average of 2.786 million.

In case you didn’t know...

A six-man tag team match featuring The Shield against Samoa Joe, Cesaro & Sheamus was the big match advertised for the show, but Dean Ambrose’s elbow injury led to him being pulled from the same.

That six-man tag team match was replaced by Roman Reigns defending his Intercontinental Championship against Samoa Joe and Seth Rollins teaming with Jason Jordan to compete against Cesaro & Sheamus for the Raw Tag Team Championships.

The heart of the matter

The following is the hourly breakdown of the December 25 edition of Raw which featured a commercial-free first hour:

Hour 1: 2.948 million
Hour 2: 2.620 million
Hour 3: 2.543 million

The first hour failed to reach the three million viewership mark despite being commercial-free. The total loss in viewership from hour one to hour three was over 400,000.

The drop from hour one to hour two resulted in 328,000 fans tuning out and was the biggest decrease the show would experience. The third hour of Raw, which traditionally brings in the lowest number, was only down 77,000 viewers.

Usually, the biggest detractor from Raw’s viewership would be the NFL and the NBA, but the flagship show also had to contend with a few Christmas specials from various channels that brought in millions in viewership.

Raw’s viewership is typically weakest during the holiday season and this year’s Raw episode was significantly lower than last year’s show on Dec. 26. However, that show aired the day after Christmas which may have contributed to the improved viewership.

What’s next?

Next week’s Raw will air on New Year’s Day and will be the first episode of WWE programming for 2018.

There won’t be any Monday Night Football to contend with as the NFL begins the playoffs on Saturday January 6, 2018. However, Raw will have to compete with four NBA games – two that’ll begin 30 minutes prior to Raw and two that’ll begin at the same time as Raw’s broadcast.

Author’s take

WWE hit some very low viewership in 2017, but one hopes the company will improve this problem as the road to WrestleMania 34 begins.

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Simon Cotton
Freelance Journalist and Photographer, Columbia College Chicago Graduate Student, Jackson State University Alumnus Occasional guest on the Social Suplex Podcast Network. Catch me on Anchor for some interesting thoughts.
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