Raw Ratings Aren’t Great And It Shouldn’t Be A Surprise


I’m surprised Raw did as well as it did.  Here’s why.

The decline in ratings really isn’t surprising for a few major reasons.

1. Monday Night Football. Raw in the Attitude Era didn’t come close to Monday Night Football’s numbers and that’s never going to change. Monday Night Football is a juggernaut and always will be. There’s no way to get around this.

2. The Network. Raw is made available a month later. If I wanted to, I could watch every episode of Raw leading up to a pay per view and skip over the parts I don’t want to see. It’s quick, it’s easy, and WWE hypes the heck out of the Network every chance they can.

3. Did you know WWE.com does it’s own live Raw results? As in they say what’s going on during the show, making it easy to get a quick recap instead of watching the full show? This is in addition to the dozens of other sites that do the same.

4. It’s three hours a week. That’s WAY too much for most people and it’s overload. Consider Summerslam weekend. You had Takeover running two and a half hours plus a half hour pre-show, you had a four hour Summerslam plus a one hour pre-show, and then you had Raw, which was three hours plus a half hour pre-show. That’s eleven and a half hours of content in three days. Two shows are pay per views and one is fallout. Which are you most likely to cut out from your schedule?

5. As for last night, it’s hard to blame this on Sting. Yeah he was the main event, and we knew that a total of two and a half hours in advance. Instead the advertised matches featured Nikki Bella (with her crossover appeal from Total Divas of course, which has about a million viewers a week, a good percentage of which are probably already watching Raw) and the Prime Time Players, the latter of which was a title match with the winners getting to face the Dudleyz. Sting was announced as a last minute match and if you weren’t watching the show at some point, you didn’t know about it.

6. A lot of people don’t watch cable TV anymore, and why should they? With Netflix, Hulu and the WWE Network, there’s a ton of good material out there for way cheaper. For the people who still do have cable, there are roughly 1.38457 million channels to pick from these days. Couple that with DVR and people watching parts of the shows and the ratings shrinking really isn’t a big surprise.

I know they’re still the most common means of examining how well a show did, but is there a reason we’re still using the same measuring stick for the show that we used seventeen years ago? A lot has changed since then and of course there are going to be fewer people watching the same show. I’m stunned that it’s still as high as it is.

Oh and despite the ratings: the stock is at about $19 a share, or $4 higher than it was a year ago at this time. There might be something more to the company’s success than just the TV ratings, but again that’s all most people seem to care about.


  1. M.R. says:

    Have they considered tinkering with the weekly opening monologue of Rollins and/or the Authority coming out and saying the same shit?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    No, because of two reasons.

    1. That formula worked in the Attitude Era and therefore they’re going to keep running with it today.

    2. Raw exists to get the Authority over. Notice that they keep getting the fun moments and get to do “entertaining” stuff like the dancing last night. It’s all about them and even the World Champion has to bow down to them because they’re in charge. Stephanie apparently really does believe she’s the most amazing thing ever and that everyone loves her.

    M.R. Reply:

    It’s basically the same thing Vince did with Rock after the Montreal Screwjob II angle, the difference being Vince was actually entertaining and unlike Rollins, Rock was too charismatic to be overshadowed.

  2. MC ChickaChicka says:

    The Ratings that you dudes see don’t factor in international viewings do they? If they do then in Australia the show starts at 11:30am which is terribly inconvenient for us, and also at 2:30pm the next day which also means it’s kind of screwed since even school kids are watching the show at the last hour if they’re lucky. The timing issues overseas are also a massive factor in why the show doesn’t do that well outside the states.

    Greg Reply:

    They do not. TV ratings we talk about are for the US only.

  3. deanerandterry says:

    When you have a monopoly on wrestling it’s certainly going to be easier to get people to watch your show but even when that’s not the case WWE will more or less be fine from a business standpoint.

    Considering what they should be at WWE viewership is pretty shitty any way you shake it but it’s amazing what a company can do when it has a good business model and WWE has a good business model, on that merit alone they’ll be fine because they’re smart enough to make money from pretty much every angle they could possibly make money from.

    These days I can’t think of really anything on WWE television that I like or that I’m invested in, I’m sure a lot of people are in that same boat but what they’re doing does seem to be working for them and from their perspective that’s all they need to be concerned with, not complainers like myself who shit on the product. They may not have much of a long term vision when it comes to their television but they most certainly have a long term vision when it comes to the company and quite frankly that’s much more important.

  4. Gunther_224 says:

    They shouldn’t sweat losing to MNF in the ratings. Even World Series game 7’s lose to it.