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WWE News: Raw TV ratings are in - WWE gets WrestleMania bump, but down from Rumble & WM27

Apr 3, 2012 - 5:35:46 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

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WWE Raw on Monday, April 2 scored a 3.43 rating, up 12 percent from last week's 3.04 rating for the WrestleMania 28 lead-in. However, the night-after-Mania Raw rating was lower than the night after the Royal Rumble in January, which scored a 3.55 rating.

-- Raw averaged just over five million viewers with an average of 5.01 million viewers over the course of the two hours. It was the first Raw to surpass five million viewers since the Raw after the Rumble, which averaged 5.22 million viewers.

The first hour averaged 4.96 million viewers for Rock's farewell-for-now promo. Raw increased slightly to an average of 5.07 million viewers in the second hour for John Cena's hyped promo and Brock Lesnar's surprise return.

-- Another comparison is last year's Raw after WrestleMania scored a 3.82 rating. The show averaged 5.60 million viewers (10 percent decline in 2012) on an average of 5.42 million first hour viewers and 5.78 million second hour viewers.

-- On cable TV Monday night, Raw ranked #1 in overall viewers and #1 in key male demos. Raw was #2 among teen males and key adult female ratings were up about one-tenth of a rating compared to usual weeks.

Raw's demographic ratings were very similar to the Raw after the Rumble episode. The only difference was Monday's Raw was up two-tenths of a rating in teen males 12-17. However, Raw remains almost one full rating point below the same-week-2011 level.

Caldwell's Analysis: There's a lot here. By cable TV standards in 2012, it's a good rating, but not good enough for the Raw-after-Mania. Raw continues to be hurt by the lack of teen male viewers, costing Raw a few tenths-of-a-rating each week. Also, the lack of a major jump in the second hour - albeit above five million viewers - suggests the audience is soft on John Cena and damage may have been done to Cena as a draw over the past year-plus. That remains to be seen once they get Cena away from The Rock.

The NCAA Title game is always a factor going up against the Raw-after-Mania. But, the gap between this year's Raw-after-Mania compared to last year and recent years is so wide that the NCAA Title game appears to have had just the "usual effect," and this is more indicative of less interest in Raw and less demand to watch Raw live on USA Network. (It will be interesting to see if there's strong DVR viewing for this episode.)

As for a potential indicator for the WrestleMania buyrate, does a 12 percent week-to-week increase in the overall rating indicate many casual viewers did not order Mania and tuned in for the fall-out to see what happened? Potentially. We may not know until the buyrate figures come in.


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