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WWE Raw ratings up slightly despite huge first-to-third hour drop

A wrestling-heavy Raw last night was up very slightly from last week's low mark, doing 2.78 million viewers.

But the ratings pattern told a different story with a 23 percent drop from hour one to hour three, an unusually large number and a very weak third hour number.

Raw was sixth for the night on cable. The Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals Monday Night Football game did 10.84 million viewers.

In the 18-49 demo, the women's drop from hour one to hour three was 29 percent and the men's drop was 11 percent.

There was a major drop in every demo throughout the show. The message was pretty clear that a series of long matches, as opposed to long matches with main event talent, are not good for retaining viewers.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 3.15 million viewers
9 p.m. 2.86 million viewers
10 p.m. 2.43 million viewers

Here's a chart from Paul Fontaine that looks at Raw ratings since the start of football season and compares them to last year's numbers: