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Raw ratings drop only slightly against national title game

Raw last night did 2.89 million viewers, a number that can't be considered bad going against the Alabama vs. Clemson college football championship game head-to-head.

The football game did 24.39 million viewers, making it the strongest competition against Raw recently with the exception of the Trump-Clinton debate. The number was down, even though the game itself went down to the wire and probably played the key part in Raw's third hour drop.

Raw only declined two percent from last week, likely due to the advertised appearances of Shawn Michaels and Undertaker. After both had appeared, there was a significant number of viewers who tuned out with a major third hour drop. Unlike usual, when the third hour drop is usually women viewers, last night it was males and in particular older males, which is probably directly attributable to the football game.

The good news is that Raw won't be against football until next fall, and WWE is coming up on its strongest part of the year. So starting next week, there should be a significant increase in male viewers in particular.

Raw was ninth for the night on cable, trailing every program that aired on ESPN from 7:30 p.m. until 1:30 a.m., both the game and pre-and-post game coverage, as well as several news shows.

The football game also did a number on most television programming far worse than it did to Raw.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 3.01 million viewers
9 p.m. 3.02 million viewers
10 p.m. 2.69 million viewers

Here's a chart from Paul Fontaine that compares the last 10 weeks of Raw ratings to previous years: