WWE Monday Night Raw posted a strong viewer number again this week, averaging 4.718 million viewers over the three-hour show.
That was down 3.1 percent from last week’s viewer average of 4.869 million, but still up significantly over the previous four Monday Night Raw shows dating back to Dec. 23.
One trend continued that has to concern WWE creative: what we call The Hour 3 Raw Ratings Dip. Hour 3 this week drew 4.470 million viewers, down from 4.849 million viewers in Hour 1 and 4.837 million viewers in Hour 2.
Logically, it would seem to make sense that viewership would go up over the three hours, peaking at the main event, since creative uses everything from the show open at the top of the 8 p.m. Eastern hour to the end to build up toward the big finish.
This ratings dip from Hour 1 to Hour 3 has been a long-term trend.
Children on the East Coast, the most populous time zone in the U.S. TV market, have to go to bed before the conclusion of the show, pushing the numbers down.
More adult fare in terms of TV dramas come on starting in the 9 p.m. Eastern TV hour, ratcheting up competition for older viewers.
Some viewers tune in at 8 p.m. to see what is set to unfold for that night’s Raw episode, are bored by the usually lengthy all-talk, no-wrestling segment that is meant to set the tone for a main event that is to come nearly three hours later, decide to tune back in later, find something better to watch on TV or to do in general, and don’t come back.
In any case, the leakage of viewers over the three hours is something that you’d think WWE would be paying attention to.
Column by Chris Graham