Last night's Raw ratings had both good and bad news.
The bad news is the final number, of 2.67 million viewers, which would be the lowest the show has done in the modern era except against the NFL or NBA playoffs. It was an eight percent drop from last week's show which was boosted by coming the day after the Money in the Bank PPV.
However, the show was trending to do significantly worse after the first two hours. Shockingly, not only was the usual pattern of a third-hour drop not there, but the third hour, built around the Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins Intercontinental title match, was the highest rated hour of the show.
Ironically, the last time the third hour was the highest rated of the show was 52 weeks ago, on June 26, 2017.
Before that, you'd have to go back to March 14, 2016.
There is no television explanation for this. There was nothing that did big numbers on the networks -- and cable numbers weren't strong either. Raw was fifth on cable, trailing only news shows.
The explanation is the show itself.
What this means is there was lower than usual level of interest in the show, however, the show itself was good, in fact by current standards when it comes to keeping the audience, it was the best in a year. This caused the usual viewership tune-out not to happen. The lesson of the show was that, at least for this week, the idea of a nearly 30-minute main event was a huge ratings success.
The three hours were:
- 8 p.m. 2.60 million viewers
- 9 p.m. 2.68 million viewers
- 10 p.m. 2.71 million viewers