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Despite unique ratings pattern, WWE Raw viewership drops this week

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There was a unique and surprising ratings pattern last night, but in the end Raw was down nine percent from last week.

The show averaged 3.08 million viewers, good for fifth place for the night on cable, trailing only news shows.

There was going to be a drop since last week's show was the day after the Royal Rumble, which would be expected to be among the biggest numbers of the year. The number was almost identical to the same period last year when the show from the same Monday did 3.10 million viewers.

What was notable is that the audience grew in the second hour, which hasn't been the case in a long time, but fell big in the third, which is a pattern, even with John Cena and Braun Strowman both saved for the television main event. In addition, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins challenging Sheamus & Cesaro for the Tag Team titles was also in the third hour.

What was also notable is that there was good second hour growth among males 18-49, but then a big drop in the third hour. Usually the third hour drop is heavily women losing interest, but in recent weeks the core male audience has started to tune out earlier. The largest audience, those over 50, dropped 17 percent from hour two to hour three.

It's hard to explain what caused the second hour increase, although the first hour was lower than would be expected for this time of year.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 3.16 million viewers
9 p.m. 3.21 million viewers
10 p.m. 2.79 million viewers