RAW plummets in overall viewership and drops 20 percent in demo

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/12/15/raw-plummets-in-overall-viewership-and-drops-20-percent-in-demo/

Monday’s episode of RAW saw a plummet as it hit new lows for overall viewership and within the 18-49 demographic.

It was a bad week for RAW with enormous losses in two key demographics and a sign that the show had minimal interest from the start.

The show averaged 1,527,000 viewers and experienced a dramatic drop of 19.6 percent in the 18-49 demographic finishing with a 0.41 rating. Despite the massive drop, RAW still finished sixth among all cable programming Monday night.

RAW opened with 1,627,000 viewers, which would be the second-lowest first hour in the history of three-hour RAWs. The show dropped to 1,512,000 in hour two, and then to 1,441,000 in the final hour. The third-hour viewership average would be the lowest for any hour of RAW in the modern era that we have data for.

Last week’s episode of AEW Dynamite beat RAW overall in adults 18-49 (0.45 to 0.41), men 18-49 (0.57 to 0.46), adults 18-34 (0.29 to 0.22), women 12-34 (0.22 to 0.21), and adults 25-54 (0.49 to 0.48).

In total viewers, RAW declined by 12 percent this week and fell to the lowest overall average for the program. The previous low of the modern era occurred earlier this year with 1,561,000 viewers on July 13th.

While many will point to the Monday Night Football game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns as RAW’s chief competition, the game averaged 12,422,000. The NFL was down 12.3 percent from the Buffalo vs. San Francisco game last week when factoring in the audience on both ABC and ESPN last week. There have been several larger NFL games this past season that didn’t cause RAW to fall to this level.

RAW was hit extremely hard in its male audience with men 18-49 declining by 31 percent this week and males 12-34 down by 25 percent. Adults 18-34 nosedived by 29 percent and adults 25-54 fell 25 percent.

While the 18-34 audience fell significantly, throughout the course of the show it remained consistent and only fell by 4.5 percent throughout the show. With males 12-34 it grew by 8 percent from the first hour to the third. The largest decline throughout the show was among women 12-34 that dropped 18 percent.

In Canada, RAW was not hit as bad finishing #3 among sports programming with 220,200 viewers and 112,900 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360. Last week, the show did 254,900 and 117,300 in the demo. This week, they trailed the NFL game and a Toronto Raptors pre-season game.

WWE got better news with the release of the final numbers for Friday Night SmackDown. The show finished with 2,206,000 viewers on Fox and a 0.6 in the 18-49 demographic. It was their best viewership mark since November 20th and was tied for first in the key demo with ABC’s Shark Tank among network programming. In Canada, SmackDown averaged 242,000 viewers on Sportsnet 360 with 119,800 in the 25-54 demographic.

Here is a breakdown of the key demos from RAW and we’ll include last week’s AEW Dynamite figures given how close the two were this week:

Source: Showbuzz Daily

ADULTS 18-49
WWE Raw: 0.41 (-19.6 percent)
Hour 1-3: -14 percent
AEW Dynamite: 0.45

WWE Raw: 0.36 (+3 percent)
Hour 1-3: -15 percent
AEW Dynamite: 0.34

MALES 18-49

WWE Raw: 0.46 (-31 percent)
Hour 1-3: -10 percent
AEW Dynamite: 0.57

ADULTS 18-34
WWE Raw: 0.22 (-29 percent)
Hour 1-3: -4.5 percent
AEW Dynamite: 0.29

WWE Raw: 0.21 (-4.5 percent)
Hour 1-3: -18 percent
AEW Dynamite: 0.22

MALES 12-34
WWE Raw: 0.27 (-25 percent)
Hour 1-3: +8 percent
AEW Dynamite: 0.25

ADULTS 25-54
WWE Raw: 0.48 (-25 percent)
Hour 1-3: -12 percent
AEW Dynamite: 0.49

WWE Raw: 0.77 (-8 percent)
Hour 1-3: -9 percent
AEW Dynamite: 0.29


Can’t say I’m surprised, this is another one of those shows where I watched almost the entire thing and I can’t really tell you anything of note that happened.

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If only these numbers could speak to Vince and tell him “Please stop”.


Well, goddamn pal, You didn’t like the nightmare before TLC? You just don’t know good entertainment goddamnit

It’s refreshing. RAW was horrendous last night. It’s been bad for a while. Major creative changes have been overdue for years and it’s going to take a lot to fix the mess


Thanks for this, John. Even if AEW doesn’t maintain this upward trajectory for long, I feel they’re learning a lesson about how to take advantage of the pre-Rumble doldrums. If they choose to load up their programming during this period in a similar fashion next year, Raw and Dynamite meeting in the ~1.25 million overall range doesn’t seem beyond the pale, barring any major structural shakeups in the WWE.

Overall you dont want to see ratings drop for any show, BUT Raw needs a kick in the ass. Hopefully Vince recognizes the bad, but I’m not crossing my fingers. If they ever announce a switch to 2 hours, I will be the happiest fan in the world lol.

You take Peyton Royce off television and you see what happens.


You know what would solve this? Keith Lee learns how to do a mean chinlock.


Keith Lee is an irrelevant factor either way.

Repetitive, boring programming for three hours every week with terrible attempts at humour and some terrible hocus, pocus shit with The Fiend (who stopped being interesting long ago). There is nothing interesting on this show. McIntyre is just an okay champion as well, he’s not bad but he won’t get people excited for anything either.


It baffles me when people say things like “hopefully Vince changes things” or have any kind of hope at all. The ratings have been dropping for 20 years. This is not a new thing over the past few years.

Vince just doesn’t have it anymore and I’m beginning to think he never did, he just had more people around him that he trusted and were probably able to talk him out of God knows what shit.


I’m not going to try to claim that I didn’t enjoy wrestling in the 90s and (to a lesser extent) the 2000s. But I think at any point in WWE history, the booking was rarely all that good. It was more about transcendent talent like Hogan, Austin and The Rock than it was about anything else. And certainly Vince deserves some share of the credit for creating those stars, but it was always about those few guys and hitting on 1-2 hot angles per year, rather than the week-to-week crap like the roided up monsters of the 90s or the stupid acts and gratuitous nudity of the Attitude Era.

Case in point, Vince - with pretty much the same creative team - had Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, the Undertaker and Lex Luger on top in the mid-90s and almost went bankrupt because those guys weren’t transcendent stars who anybody knew or cared about outside of the wrestling world.


Are people watching $WWE stock? The market is at all time highs and experiencing what some say are 99-00 .com like bubble…WWE stock hasn’t crossed back above it’s pre-March level, and is basically flat for 6 months.

Some yahoo on Twitter: “But ratings don’t matter, ratings don’t mater”

Me: Then explain record profits, no work stoppage, cheaper production, potential for re-opening jolt…

Here is something I like to remind people, the WWE is a public company that is in the business of providing value for its share holds as much as it is producing an entertaining wrestling product. You know what shareholders value, GROWTH! The investment community pays for growth right now in a way that is unconsciousble. Companies losing 100s of millions of dollars a year show user growth an boom, stock up.
You know what they don’t pay for, NO GROWTH! And right now, demonstrated on a weekly basis, the WWE is a company bleeding out consumer engagement. Every week that rating shrinks and viewership plummets mid-program, the confidence in WWE ability to retain and attract consumers dwindles. Those TV rights will not last forever and if you just do a comparison of AEW’s #s/TV deal vs. WWE, I think you can conclude one of two things: AEW is a significant discount OR WWE is likely grossly overvalued.

And what is a catalyst for WWE rght now? Selling the rights to PPVs? What is the value of those? Disney + is like 80mil subs and WWE is roughly 1-1.5mil paid subs…is it even additive to a streaming platform? If I’m a streaming company looking at dwindling engagement, what kinda money am I willing to pay to basically attract a shrinking audience that I likely already capture?.. Yikes!!!

Sidenote: I’m waiting for somebody to take AEW public via SPAC - There’s no reason to think AEW is not in line for a massive rights increase in the next few years + continued consumer engagement in discretionary goods areas (merch, games, live events). I also think AEW would benefit from the cult following the way Penn National did with Barstool Sports fans who piled into the stock because they wanted to bet on their brands success.


Watch anything WWE produced on the Monday Night Wars etc and they always say competition brought out at the best in the company. I think that mindset needs to return pretty quick. Not saying AEW is going to overtake any time soon but these numbers must be worrying for WWe brass.


During the “Monday Night Wars”, both sides had the confidence (sometimes warranted, sometimes not) and the talent to burn through major storylines and matches on a weekly basis. Currently, WWE is still burning through every combinations of guys, but they do it in six-man tags and non-title matches. So there’s nothing to sell you on watching Raw for meaningless matches, but also nothing to draw you to watch the PPV (if you DID watch Raw) because you’ve already seen those guys fight each other 3-4 times in those meaningless matches.

Basically, WWE needs to pick one. Either tell the ratings to fuck off and build toward PPVs properly, or stop treating the PPVs like they still cost $60 and go balls out on TV.




@TheBenjamin but we did get AEW :sweat_smile: :sweat_smile: :sweat_smile: :sweat_smile:

I think they treat their PPV (Network Specials) like they are $9.99 events. And the build reflects exactly that. If they had to get fans to actually spend $60 on an event there is no way they’d be trotting out this trash as a go-home show. They are basically fulfilling a TV contract and seemingly do not care about growing a fan base, as long as that TV money is healthy, which given market conditions they think will remain healthy. That’s fine. I’ll take the other side of that bet. I’ll take a bigger bet that Vince exits the company before the next TV deal.

And where I think they care about consumer engagement growth is in the digital space which they then sell to their TV partner in a way that demonstrates strong Brand, which makes the TV rights valuable to own the rights to the brand. Maybe that is all it takes, I’m not a media rights expert. But for he life of me I don’t see a path to growing TV money unless it takes the form of a totally different partnership w/ Streaming. Getting the same rights seems achievable based on brand strength and the TV Rights market, but growth? Remember I started my thoughts here by saying, look at the stock price over the past 6 months and understand nobody in the investment community thinks this company has a growth story which is better context than simply pointing at ratings and then having a dozen ways to explain decline in viewership. Bottom line, no growth is like death for a public company.

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This may be a different topic but not every company has to go public. There are benefits to being private and risks to going public. Especially for a company barely 1.5 years old.

Being public puts pressure on a company to produce quarterly results with long term goals as secondary priority. Which is the opposite of what AEW’s business model should be for now.

Not entirely true if the greatest source of revenue is locked up like a TV Rights deal. But I agree not every company needs to be public and nor should they.

I guess I draw the comparison in the following ways:

  1. AEW is growing and maintaining it’s consumer engagement whereas WWE is not, I’d rather own interest in AEW
  2. AEW is on a discounted TV deal which means it has a major catalyst in the next few years, WWE may be on an inflated TV deal which makes future deals at or above this level a risk
  3. AEW has a rabid fan base that, like Barstool Sports, I could see fans piling into the company is if it was publicly traded as a bet on their ability to be successful like Penn National Gaming which acquired Barstool ($30–>$80+)

Now should AEW be public, probably definitely not as a 1.5 year old venture. But if TK wanted to ensure financial success on his investment, I think this is an easy way to get his money back and then some + increase in funds would allow them to re-invest without TK needing to dip further into his pockets.

Look, can’t I just dream about my worlds colliding and getting to buy AEW stock.

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