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WWE News: Monday Night Raw viewership up from last week, down significantly overall

Raw's viewership improved, but not in the long term.

News 04 Jan 2018, 03:40 IST

The Beast Incarnate and The Devil's Favorite Demon ended the first Raw of 2018
The Beast Incarnate and The Devil's Favorite Demon ended the first Raw of 2018

What’s the Story?

The first Monday Night Raw episode of 2018 averaged 2.865 million viewers; up 162,000 from last week’s average of 2.703 million.

In Case You Didn’t Know

The first hour of Raw featured Kurt Angle announcing the rules for the Women’s Royal Rumble and a match between Jason Jordan and Cesaro. The second hour of the show featured Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss facing Asuka in a non-title match and Roman Reigns defending the Intercontinental Championship against Samoa Joe which continued into some of the third hour.

The Heart of the Matter

The following is the hourly breakdown for the January 1, 2018, edition of Raw:

Hour one: 2.969 million
Hour two: 2.912 million
Hour three: 2.714 million

Despite the NFL no longer opposing the flagship show, Raw’s viewership couldn’t reach three million views for the duration of the program due to the competition from the College Football Playoffs which brought in views ranging from five to 25 million for ESPN.

The drop from hour one to hour two resulted in a loss of 57,000 viewers, but the biggest drop in viewership occurred in the third hour with 198,000 fans tuning out. The only noteworthy aspects of the third hour were Finn Balor reuniting with Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows and Kane confronting Brock Lesnar.

Despite having higher viewership than the final Raw of 2017, this show’s viewership marks the lowest numbers Raw has generated for the first show of the year since the move to three hours back in August 2012. The numbers were also low when compared to the previous year which was also in the midst of the brand split.

The following is a list of every Monday Night Raw viewership average since Raw went to 3 hours:

2013: 3.552 million
2014: 4.128 million
2015: 3.762 million
2016: 3.575 million
2017: 3.046 million
2018: 2.865 million

Raw’s viewership average severely declined in 2016 with a loss of over 500,000 viewers from the previous year. The latest viewership numbers have seen an even further decline with a decrease of 710,000 viewers from 2016 to 2018.

What’s Next?

Next week’s Raw will be up against six NBA games – two that will begin prior to Raw, three at the same time as Raw, and one in the third hour of Raw’s broadcast.

Author’s Take

The viewership was up significantly from last week’s show but wasn’t as high as previous Raws under the 3-hour era.

Despite signs of a downward trend, Raw’s viewership always improves during the Road to WrestleMania season and the heavily promoted 25th Anniversary of Raw is likely to cause a greater boost in viewership for the month of January.

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