The experiment of last night's Raw clearly worked for the night, as the episode averaged 1.88 million viewers, nearly the same number as the show last week that got a post-Elimination Chamber bump.
More importantly, Raw drew a much younger than usual audience as the 18-34 number was a 0.39, up 50 percent from the prior week.
While the interest at the start of the show was down, as expected, the key to the rating was that the audience stayed through the three hours and the multiple Miz vs. Bobby Lashley misfires. The second hour audience was up from the first, which doesn't happen often. The first-to-third hour drop of five percent is unusually low, the lowest in a long time, meaning the show kept the viewers to see the climax at the end, which happens less and less these days with all wrestling shows
Raw won the night in 18-49 by a wide margin, as Street Outlaws on Discovery was second at 0.34. Raw was second in women 18-49, beat everything in men 18-49 and overall 18-34 by a wide margin, doubled all but one show (Below Deck Sailing Yacht at 0.21) in women 12-34, and tied with SportsCenter for first in men 12-34.
Raw finished eighth overall in total viewers, its best showing in months aside from January's Raw Legends Night.
Essentially this indicated the value of the title belt still made a difference, in particular to the male audience between 12 and 34 which was both way up from usual. That demo not only didn't tune out, it actually grew throughout the show.
As compared to last week, the total viewers were down 0.4 percent, 18-49 was up two percent, and 18-34 was up 50 percent (which transversely means 35-49 must have been way down).
As compared to one year ago, Raw was down 17 percent in viewers, 22 percent in 18-49, and 28 percent in 18-34.
As far as first-to-third hour declines, women 18-49 were down 16 percent, which is a normal drop, men 18-49 gained seven percent as opposed to a normal loss of 10-20 percent, so this is a demo that the stretching the title match angle worked big with. Teenage girls were down 16 percent, again normal. Teenage boys were up nine percent.
The three hours were:
- 8 p.m. 1.92 million viewers
- 9 p.m. 1.92 million viewers
- 10 p.m. 1.82 million viewers