WWE Raw falls to a new low with 1.686 million viewers

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/05/wwe-raw-falls-to-a-new-low-with-1-686-million-viewers/

WWE Raw hit a new low this week and continues its rapid decline throughout its presentation of empty arena episodes during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A new modern low of 1,686,000 viewers was hit over the three-hour episode on the USA Network this week. It falls below the previous low of 1,775,000 viewers for a taped episode of Raw on Christmas Eve 2018.

The show began with 1,807,000 viewers, which was down 7% from last week’s opening hour and would reflect a diminished interest right off the bat. Raw fell 6.5% in the second hour to 1,691,000 viewers and experienced another drop of 7.7% to 1,591,000 in the third hour, which did have a one-minute overrun.

The third-hour figure replaces last week’s third hour as the least-watched hour of Raw in its history.

In the 18-49 demographic, it was down 10% from last week generating a 0.46. To put that in perspective, prior to the empty arena shows, their previous low in the demo for 2020 occurred on January 13th where they did a 0.61 against the LSU vs. Clemson college championship game.

Raw remained the third, fourth, and sixth most-watched programs in the key demo among cable programming Monday.

All the key demos saw decreases led by females 12-34 down 19% and adults 18-34 down 16%.

From the first to the third hour, the largest loss was among adults 25-54 that dropped 16% and adults over 50 fell 15%. The only positives were adults 18-34 growing 10.5% and females 12-34 up 6.25% from the first to third hours.

The show was promoted around a ‘Last Chance Money in the Bank Gauntlet Match’ that took up most of the first hour. The show closed with Drew McIntyre vs. Murphy in a non-title match.

The show was down 25% in total viewers from this week in 2019, which went against the NBA and NHL playoffs.

Here is the demographic breakdown and comparison of the first to third hours:

ADULTS 18-49
This week: 0.45 (-10%)
Last week: 0.51
Hour 1-3: -10%

This week: 0.35 (-10%)
Last week: 0.39
Hour 1-3: -8%

MALES 18-49
This week: 0.57 (-8%)
Last week: 0.62
Hour 1-3: -11.5%

ADULTS 18-34
This week: 0.21 (-16%)
Last week: 0.25
Hour 1-3: +10.5%

This week: 0.17 (-19%)
Last week: 0.21
Hour 1-3: +6.25%

MALES 12-34
This week: 0.27 (-7%)
Last week: 0.29
Hour 1-3: -11%

ADULTS 25-54
This week: 0.58 (-8%)
Last week: 0.63
Hour 1-3: -16%

This week: 0.84 (-5.5%)
Last week: 0.89
Hour 1-3: -15%


Next week should be very interesting, considering it’s got more star power and it’s the episode after Money In The Bank, the figures should go up. If not then who knows what?

The week after it goes up against The Titan Games, which is hosted by Dwayne Johnson. Also is it a national holiday in the U.S?

This has to be the lowest in the history of the show, no?
I can’t imagine even in the mid 90’s, then being under 1.6M.

Meltzer says lowest ever, not just “modern era”. Obviously there are extenuating circumstances here, but wow.


They just need to stop with the current format for now. Its such a hard watch, and 3 hours almost makes it impossible to watch live. I do check it out, but I Tivo and watch it in about 30-45min.

I know we have to consider how much the pandemic is affecting interest in the programming. That being said the ratings have been on a downward trajectory for years. The product and it’s presentation has become very stale. Who honestly sits through this for 9 hours per week?


They’re losing a ton of people now who may never come back, that is a huge issue.

But the bigger issue has always been the inability to grow new fans. Nobody new is deciding to watch WWE anymore - it seems like a chore at times. Massive problem

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How do you even gauge that? I am not aware of any metric that shows how many children are watching. Typically with wrestling (especially WWE) the “new” fans are kids.

I think their problem is more so their inability to retain fans.

Look at the Nielsen demos and the average age of a WWE viewer. Even NXT has a way older demo than AEW. Or even things like merch are WAY down

The problem isn’t retaining. They’ve kept a lot of people from the Monday night wars, it’s attracting new ones.

Doesn’t help that guys like HHH, Taker and Goldberg are still huge parts of the show and almost always go over current guys

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I’ve looked at the Nielsen ratings, from what I have seen I dont believe they account for kids. If a child is watching with their parent, I dont see how the ratings could possibly include that. I dont think gaining new fans is as big of a problem that you point out, just look in a WWE audience, tons of kids.They may lack a little bit in the teen/20’s range however.

Problem is retaining fans. Even before the pandemic Raw was in the 2.2 - 2.5 mil range (I believe), if you go back to the attitude era they were hitting anywhere from 5-7 million per show and I have a very hard time believing that of the 2mil they still have, that none are in their 20’s.

By the way, I’m not comparing AEW to WWE right now. I’m just talking about WWE. Not everything is WWE vs AEW.

Sorry you’re wrong. One of many, many articles on the trend - Study: The Median Age Of TV Wrestling Viewers Has Nearly Doubled Since 2000

Looking at the crowd means nothing. They get the majority of their money off of TV deals and that is the audience they attract

I think that the people realized how bad actually those shows are written/scripted and how bad some of the performers are coming out because of it. This realization is also multiplied by the fact that those people mostly sit at home, bored, looking for something to actually entertain them. They just don’t need something to bore them even further, thus are looking for better quality content, which is not that hard to find nowadays.

I think that this pandemic exposed how stale and rehashed the WWE product actually is nowadays (it’s been like that for years, but it really “shines” in the current situation).

I think the crowd often hides just how incredibly lame everyone sounds in WWE. That Rollins promo was pathetic last night. Liv Morgan, who has improved in the ring, has dialogue that sounds like a 60-year-old man.

Even Samoa Joe was brutal last night. I couldn’t stop laughing when he said something about someone being “teed off” last night. Tom Phillips also just speaks like no other person on the planet. It’s so painful to listen to these people read their scripts


Absolutely! That WWE speech is one of the things that pushed me away from NXT too. Sure, maybe the smallest of the problems I have with their shows since last year, but those things accumulate.

Ironically, though, there are some promos that come out better without a crowd too. But the speech itself, really in the commentary but often in the promos too, just makes me want to pull my brain through my ears.

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Why are you bringing up where they get their money from? That has absolutely nothing to do with my point. I agree that their TV deals are their bread and butter.

The article you posted simply says that the median audience off WWE has risen, I agree with that. I dont think you understand my point, stop looking at what I am saying so black and white. Nowhere did I say that the WWE audience is young. I even said that I believe they have a hard time with teen’s/20 somethings.

I’m not saying that the majority of WWE fans are not older, let me be crystal clear. What I am saying is that I do believe WWE is creating new fans, however I am saying that I believe those fans are children. WWE has become the show that parents watch with their kids. While AEW has become the show that teens/20 somethings are watching (generally speaking of course).

As far as kids watching with their parents, ratings wouldn’t be able to track that and saying it doesn’t matter who is in the audience is ridiculous thing to say in the context of an debate regarding if or if not the WWE is creating new fans. Now if you are arguing that WWE does a bad job at gaining new fans in their teens/20’s, that I would agree with.

Why do even watch WWE if you hate it so much? Personally I skim it, the WWE speak has gotten pretty brutal, I agree with that.

Well the only evidence you have that they are creating new fans is by seeing a few kids in the crowd. Ever thought those kids are being dragged there by their parents? Every number suggests otherwise that WWE is building new fans.

What, are you saying that when Baron Corbin does his little fake laugh mid promo that you arent captivated lol. When WWE is great, its better then anything else IMO. When its bad, its worse then anything else IMO.

So you disregard merchandise sales? I really dont think its adults buying up Cena/Reigns shirts.

The wrestling can still be good sometimes, almost everything else is pretty bad and has been bad for years.