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WWE Raw draws second-lowest viewership, ties low in 18-49

Raw last night did the second lowest audience in the modern history of the show and tied the May 4 episode for the lowest ever in 18-49.

Overall, this could be considered the most sobering number in show history.

The show averaged 1.63 million viewers and a 0.46 rating in 18-49. Total viewers were up four percent from last week's record low viewer number, and 18-49 was down four percent. Really it was a far worse number given it came a day after a pay-per-view that was designed for curiosity and to build Raw more than usual. It was also heavily built around the Randy Orton vs. Big Show unsanctioned match that had been promoted for weeks. The third hour, with Orton vs. Big Show, did a 0.42 in 18-49, the lowest rated hour in 18-49 in the show's history.

In theory, next week's show with two title matches should do better, but that's a hot shot and even if it helps slightly, the pattern long-term is not good.

In total viewers, the 1.54 million third hour beat only the 1.50 million for last week's hour three.

Still, television is changing. Raw was in 21st place overall, fourth among non-news shows. The only shows that beat Raw besides news shows in overall viewers were three episodes of 90 Day Fiance on TLC. The only shows that beat Raw in 18-49 were two of those episodes and Below Deck Mediterranean on Bravo, while the third 90 Day Fiance tied Raw for fourth place in the key demo.

Raw had a stronger first hour audience based on PPV curiosity, likely related to the interest level in the Rey Mysterio match. Once that was covered, the audience first-to-third hour decline was 12 percent, a normal level figure, but higher than in recent weeks.

Declines in first-to-third hour viewers were 24 percent in women 18-49, 14 percent in men 18-49, 32 percent in teenage girls, 41 percent in teenage boys (one of the largest ever, reversing a pattern where teenage boys had stayed in greater numbers for the entire show) and two percent in over 50. Really it was the over 50 audience that saved the third hour from being even lower.

A comparison with last year this week is misleading. Last year's Raw this week was the Raw Reunion show with Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels advertised as all appearing. Raw was down 47 percent in viewers, 60 percent in 18-49 and 76 percent in 18-34 from that show.

The three hours were:

  • 8 p.m. 1.74 million viewers
  • 9 p.m. 1.61 million viewers
  • 10 p.m. 1.54 million viewers