WWE News WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings - Raw takes a hit following Survivor Series (w/Analysis of Raw's downturn)
Nov 20, 2012 - 5:10:22 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
WWE Raw on Monday, November 19 following Survivor Series scored a measly 2.72 rating, down five percent from a 2.87 rating for the PPV lead-in episode.
It was Raw's lowest rating since a 2.49 rating on October 22 leading into Hell in a Cell.
-- Raw averaged 3.84 million viewers, which was down 8.5 percent from last week's average of 4.19 million viewers.
Hourly Break Down: 3.87 million first hour viewers for the immediate Survivor Series fall-out, which was the fewest 1H viewers since the Oct. 22 Raw. 3.92 million second hour viewers, which was also the fewest 2H viewers since Oct. 22. And, a decline to 3.71 million third hour viewers.
By comparison, the post-HIAC Raw on Oct. 29 averaged 4.31 million viewers in the first hour, then declined to 4.22 million viewers and 3.78 million viewers in the final two hours.
Also of note, Raw's viewership declined from the second to third hour for the 14th consecutive week and 17th week out of 18 weeks during the three-hour era.
-- Competition from a blow-out Monday Night Football game does not appear to be a contributor to Raw's viewership decline with 12.4 million viewers compared to 12.8 million last week and a seasonal average of 13.2 million viewers. Although, the NFL game featured Chicago, which is a strong wrestling market.
Overall on cable TV Monday night, Raw ranked #2 behind the NFL game in both viewers and key male demos. In the third hour, "Pawn Stars" on History Channel beat Raw in viewership, but Raw beat Pawn Stars in key male demos.
-- In the week-to-week demos, Raw did not drop off too far in any category other than teen males 12-17, which hit a four-week low. Males 12-34, males 18-49, and males 18-34 were all down one-tenth of a rating.
The bigger issue is a year-to-year drop-off. This week's Raw was down four-tenths to five-tenths of a rating in key male demos compared to mid-November Raw episodes.
Caldwell's Analysis: Raw's social media score also showed weak interest in Monday's Raw following Survivor Series, so the events at Survivor Series either did not catch viewer interest or the big hooks during Raw (C.M. Punk's title celebration and the A.J./Cena-Vickie/Ziggler business) did not attract an audience. There could also be the Jerry Lawler factor, where enough people were turned off by WWE's fake heart attack angle last week on Raw that it carried over to this week. The pattern:
11/12 second hour - 4.39 million viewers during Lawler return hour
11/12 third hour - 4.02 million viewers
11/19 first hour - 3.87 million viewers
11/19 second hour - 3.92 million viewers (very slight bump to the former first hour)
11/19 third hour - 3.71 million viewers
Bottom line, WWE is turning away viewers one way or another - Lawler angle, Raw being three hours, the A.J./Cena storyline, or other reasons. It's leading to audience erosion that is affecting USA Network's stranglehold on the quarterly cable TV ratings race. And, it's not like WWE can serve up a "three-hour Raw special" now that every Raw is three hours. Perhaps going to monthly themed shows will be the artificial, inorganic solution that WWE and USA come up with, but Raw has bigger problems beyond slapping a theme on an in-between-PPVs episode.
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