Raw did nothing short of monster numbers last night, averaging 2.11 million viewers, drawing a 0.59 rating in 18-49, and a 0.42 rating in 18-34.
The key is that unlike prior big numbers that you could have expected, last night was a relatively normal show, with no special angles or anything that would have led one to think it should be a giant number except that people are tuning in expecting surprises and that WWE has become a cool property.
Raw beat everything on cable, sweeping every key demographic. It also beat every show on network TV except The Bachelorette.
The show peaked in the second hour and there was a big first-to-third hour drop. Also key is that the gains from last week were mostly younger viewers.
Raw was up five percent in viewers, up eight percent in 18-49, and up 20 percent in 18-34 from last week's high numbers.
As compared to one year ago, Raw was up 10 percent in viewers, up nine percent in 18-49, and up eight percent in 18-34. If you factor in homes lost by USA Network over the past year, the real percentage gain is 15 percent in viewers, 14 percent in 18-49, and 13 percent in 18-34.
The toughest competition was the U.S. Open tennis on ESPN that did 1.75 million viewers and a 0.36 in 18-49.
Raw was seventh for the night in total viewers behind only news shows.
There was actually a huge drop between hour two and hour three of 13 percent, but that's more because hour two was ridiculous with 2.22 million viewers and a 0.64 in 18-49 and 0.46 in 18-34.
The three hours were:
- 8 p.m. 2.16 million viewers
- 9 p.m. 2.22 million viewers
- 10 p.m. 1.94 million viewers