The return of Monday Night Football led to WWE posting its lowest numbers since the 4th of July episode.
The September 12th edition of Raw from Portland averaged 1,710,000 viewers and approximately 574,000 (0.44) in the 18-49 demographic, according to Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics and Showbuzz Daily.
After ranking first among cable originals on Monday for five of the previous seven weeks, the return of NFL and its related programming sent Raw to a seventh place finish this week after falling 17% in overall viewership and declining 24% among the 18-49 demo – both of which represented their lowest numbers since July 4th.
The return of Monday Night Football featured the Denver Broncos taking on the Seattle Seahawks and was broadcast on both ABC and ESPN and dominated the night on television. The ABC broadcast averaged 10.3 million viewers and 2.16 in 18-49 with ESPN averaging 8 million viewers and 2.85 in the key demo. The game was also simulcast on ESPN2 with the “Manning Cast” which averaged 1,502,000 viewers and 0.58 in the demo.
Raw also aired against NBC’s coverage of the Emmy Awards that averaged 5,924,000 and 1.09 in 18-49 on NBC.
All the key demos were down double digits including adults 18-34 falling 26%, adults 35-49 dropping by 24%, and the largest loss was seen among males 12-34 that fell by 34.5% from last week. The audience that held up strongest was adults 50+, which only decreased by 11%.
The show began with 1,783,000 viewers and 0.45 in the 18-49 demographic in the first hour, which included Matt Riddle vs. Finn Balor and the Women’s Tag Team Championship match that saw Dakota Kai & IYO SKY win the titles.
The second hour increased to 1,821,000 viewers and 0.48 in the demo before a third-hour drop to 1,525,000 viewers and 0.39 in the demo featuring the main event between Edge and Dominik Mysterio.
In Canada, Raw averaged 215,700 viewers and 120,100 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360, which represented declines of 20% and 10% respectively from last week. Raw finished fifth for the night among sports programming in the country, which was led by the Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays and Monday Night Football in the top two spots.
Last year’s episode of Raw airing against the first week of the NFL averaged 1,670,000 and 556,000 (0.43) in the demo with the Monday Night Football game doing 14,459,000 viewers on ABC and 7,566,000 on ESPN. Raw dropped 10% in viewers and 18% in the demo from the previous week. So, this year Raw performed better against the competition but was down by a larger percentage as Raw is up year-over-year and was coming off a higher figure last week than they were one year ago.