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Despite NBA ratings smash, WWE RAW's ratings avoid seasonal lows

A big third hour drop and a massive NBA playoff game resulted in WWE coming close to seasonal lows for the May 16th edition of Raw, but ending just above that mark.

The show did 3.17 million viewers -- just above the 3.12 million viewers for the April 25th show -- but lower than any other non-holiday Raw outside of football season since 1997.

The first hour, which didn't oppose the Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder game, was the highest rated show on cable. Raw was No. 3 on cable behind the game and the post game show, Inside The NBA

There was a huge drop in Raw's third hour, which was predicted given everything that was going on. The basketball game was up 28% in viewers from a similar Warriors playoff game last season.

The key is that even though there are more viewers of Dancing With The Stars (11.64 million) than the NBA game (8.1 million), the latter seems to have impacted Raw more significantly. 

DWTS draws double the women's adult audience as men, while the NBA game was made up of 66% males or about double the women's audience in the 18-49 demo. Raw does numbers similar to that of the NBA in that regard. Also of note in sports Monday, the San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues NHL playoff game did 1.71 million viewers.

Raw was only down two percent from last week with that tougher competition. The first two hours were similar to last week with hour one slightly up and hour two slightly down. But, the third hour was down four percent from last week. 

The three hours were:

  • 8 p.m. 3.38 million viewers
  • 9 p.m. 3.30 million viewers
  • 10 p.m. 2.89 million viewers