Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/06/01/television-viewership-report-raw-hurt-by-nba-nhl-competition-smackdown-stays-flat/
The ongoing NBA and NHL playoffs continue to play a role in the WWE’s viewership figures on Raw and SmackDown Live.
This week saw the lowest audience for an episode of Raw since September 2016 with an average of 2,487,000 viewers tuning into the USA Network for this week’s program.
The show featured a women’s Gauntlet Match and an Intercontinental title match between Seth Rollins and Jinder Mahal promoted throughout the week and featured a rare week off for Roman Reigns.
The show opened with 2,593,000 viewers tuning for the first hour, which is the lowest first hour average of 2018. They maintained the audience for the second hour with 2,591,000 viewers, which is more impressive than it sounds because the second hour coincided with the start of Game 7 between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors. Raw dropped 11.2% in the third hour to 2,300,000 viewers.
The NBA game did 14,810,000 viewers on TNT going against the second and third hours of Raw, while Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals attracted 5,195,000 viewers on NBC.
On Tuesday night, SmackDown did the exact number as the week prior with 2,195,000 viewers watching on the USA Network.
The show was promoted around the first WWE meeting between Daniel Bryan and Samoa Joe, which was changed to a three-way match in the opening segment.
The number should have been higher because they had no sports competition on Tuesday night, compared to last week that went against the Rockets vs. Warriors game.
On the MMA side, both the UFC and Bellator presented cards from England last weekend with Bellator 200 airing on tape delay Friday from London, and the UFC presenting a Sunday afternoon card from Liverpool.
The UFC card averaged 552,000 viewers on FS 1 for the main card that was headlined by Liverpool’s Darren Till, who earned a decision victory over Stephen Thompson. The preliminary card at 11 am Eastern, averaged 308,000 viewers.
The tape-delayed Bellator 200 card averaged 421,000 viewers on the Paramount Network and featured Gegard Mousasi stopping Rafael Carvalho in the opening round to become the Bellator middleweight champion.
This week, Raw will go against Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, while SmackDown will not have any sports competition.
The UFC presents a Fight Night card tonight from Utica, New York that is headlined by Jimmie Rivera and Marlon Moraes in a bantamweight bout.