The combination of the post-Day 1 bump and the WWE Championship change that brought Brock Lesnar to Raw led to Monday night's episode drawing Raw's best total audience since October 4.
The show averaged 1.72 million viewers overall and drew a 0.46 rating in 18-49, putting it in seventh place for the night behind NFL-related shows on ESPN and ESPN2.
The competing football game, promoted as the farewell of Ben Roethlisberger at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh where he has been the star quarterback for years, and his last Monday Night Football appearance, did 13.26 million viewers and a 3.69 in 18-49 between ESPN and ESPN2.
Raw was up eight percent in viewers, up 11 percent in 18-49, and up 21 percent in 18-34 from last week's show. Really most of the gain was in males 18-34, which were up 60 percent. It's the best number Raw has drawn in that category in months.
Raw was third behind ESPN and ESPN2 in the time slot in 18-49 and was 16th for the night in total viewers, behind only football-related shows and news programming. The top entertainment show head-to-head was Below Deck on Bravo that did 1.21 million viewers and a 0.39 in 18-49.
As compared to last year, which was legends night featuring the returns of Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, and did way above normal numbers, Raw was down 19 percent in viewers, down 33 percent in 18-49, and down 21 percent in 18-34. But that was far from a normal show.
The patterns were more normal with a decline throughout the show and a 10 percent drop from hour one to hour three, which is normal level.
The show was built around a four-way with Bobby Lashley defeating Big E, Kevin Owens, and Seth Rollins to set up Lesnar vs. Lashley for the Royal Rumble.
The first-to-third hour drops were 12 percent with women 18-49 and nine percent with men 18-49. The teenage girl audience grew 19 percent, but teenage boys fell 21 percent. People over 50 fell 11 percent.
The three hours were:
- 8 p.m. 1.81 million viewers
- 9 p.m. 1.72 million viewers
- 10 p.m. 1.63 million viewers