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Strong third hour saves WWE Raw rating

The Monday, March 14th edition of WWE RAW was saved from being the least watched episode of the show outside of holidays and football season by an unusually strong third hour.

That third hour, which featured WWE Champion HHH vs. Dolph Ziggler in a non-title singles match, and a final segment with Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and The Undertaker, ended up as the most watched hour of the show when it has evolved into the hour in which the audience drops greatly. This was the first time since the July 27, 2015 edition RAW (Seth Rollins challenging John Cena for the US title) where the third hour was the highest rated of the night.

The show did 3.46 million viewers, down two percent from the prior week. It was also down 12% from the 3.94 million the show did for the same week last year as the recent trend of RAW being down around 10% year over year continues.

It beat only the 2/1 show for the lowest since 1997 outside of football season and holidays. The opening hour was the least viewed 8 PM hour for the show since football season and the lowest rated non football/holiday number since the Monday Night Wars. 

In good news, RAW was still the second most watched show on cable behind the O'Reilly Factor. In the 18-49 demo that advertisers covet, the three hours were the top rated cable shows by a considerable margin at 1.36 for 10:00 1.25 for 9:00 and 1.22 for the 8:00 hour respectively. The fourth place show was Better Call Saul at 0.81.

Household rating for the show was 2.51, down 3% from last year's 2.59 and 8% from the Mar 16, 2015 RAW, which did a 2.73. 

Part of the shift is also daylight savings time as historically people start the show later and stay longer when the time changes.

The three hours were:

  • 8 p.m. 3.471 million viewers
  • 9 p.m. 3.392 million viewers
  • 10 p.m. 3.51 million viewers