Raw did its best numbers since right after WrestleMania last night, averaging 1.99 million viewers overall and a 0.54 rating in 18-49.
It's the second straight WWE television show that has drawn huge ratings, and perhaps people expected Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns to appear on Raw, but it was clear at the start of the show they were never billed and people didn't drop that much even in hour three when it was clear they wouldn't be on.
It's pretty clear that the Vince McMahon news has created a lot of interest in watching WWE TV. There was nothing actually on Raw that would have led to such a big number. And there was competition from the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on ABC that did 4.10 million viewers and a 1.20 in 18-49. Next week's Raw in theory should do an even bigger number with the much-hyped return of John Cena, although the news boost should wear out by then so it's not a lock.
Interestingly, Below Deck, the biggest competition to Raw, jumped from 0.29 last week to 0.40. With more viewers in Raw's third hour, Miz & Mrs was also up significantly, from a 0.14 to 0.20 and -- even starting at 11:02 p.m. -- was tenth for the night on cable.
Raw won big in every key demo except for finishing in its usual second place in women 18-49 to Below Deck on Bravo. Raw was eighth in overall viewers on cable behind seven news shows, which is better than usual.
Raw was up 18 percent in viewers from last week, up 26 percent in 18-49, and up 26 percent in 18-34. A good percentage of the gain was because last week the show went against the NBA playoffs and this week's show had NHL playoffs that did less than one-third the NBA number.
Aside from ABC which aired the Stanley Cup, Raw beat everything on cable by a wide margin, as well as everything on network TV in 18-49 and 18-34. Aside from the NHL and Raw, the highest rated shows on television in the United States were Spanish-language shows on Telemundo and Univision.
As compared to one year ago, Raw was up 16 percent in viewers, up 10 percent in 18-49, and up 26 percent in 18-34. Factoring in the loss of homes USA Network suffered, the realistic gains were 22 percent in viewers, 16 percent in 18-49, and 33 percent in 18-34.
During the show, the audience grew greatly with men, but fell significantly with women. From hour one to three, women 18-49 dropped 11 percent, men 18-49 grew 12 percent, teenage girls dropped 12 percent, teenage boys gained four percent, and people over 50 fell 11 percent.
Miz & Mrs did 587,000 viewers overall and a 0.20 rating in 18-49, numbers up 13 percent in viewers and up 43 percent in 18-49, largely based on the big increase in audience coming from Raw's third hour as compared to last week.
The three hours of Raw were:
- 8 p.m. 2.02 million viewers
- 9 p.m. 2.08 million viewers
- 10 p.m. 1.87 million viewers