More On Declining Raw Viewership

I wanted to follow-up a little more on point I made in Tuesday's installment of Ask WNW of WWE over saturating their audience with content, causing a lack of interest in the product.

Some readers have pointed out that last week's lackluster viewership for Monday Night Raw could be attributed to the St. Patrick's Day holiday. With that, I wanted to compare the last three years of Raw viewership data leading into Wrestlemania.

Therefore, for a sampling of data I took the four episodes of Raw prior to Wrestlemania in 2012 and 2013 and created viewership averages for each year. Those numbers are as follows:

  • 2012: 4,563,005 viewers
  • 2013: 4,688,000 viewers
  • 2014: 4,323,583 viewers

It is worth noting 2012 Raw was still two hours and viewership from 2012 to 2013 was actually up. However, regardless of what that data shows, the average this year is lower than both the two previous years.

  • Bob’s Diner

    Thanks for that. I would have thought it was clear to everyone that ratings this year are starting out poorly – they were bad for the last half of 2013 as well, this is just continuing the trend. I agree that over-saturation must be playing a part, but it also points towards issues with the creative direction of WWE and the frustration of their fanbase. Fact is, WrestleMania XXX should be a big deal but it does not feel like it

    • BIG M

      People keep saying every year the last 5 years that “it just doesn’t feel like Wrestlemania” like they don’t feel the same buzz in the past when guys like Austin and Hogan were headlining.
      Could the card be better off course it could but people should stop comparing past Wrestlemania’s to this years or the next.
      Stop comparing it to past shows and maybe you guys will start getting that Wrestlemania feeling your looking for.

      • Bob’s Diner

        When have I ever said I miss Austin???
        This year’s show has not had the solid build previous years have had – fact. It is WrestleMania, of course there are expectations. Even WWE put the expectations on themselves. They call it a “pop culture phenomenon” or their “version of the Superbowl”. If they don’t want people expecting a big show, they need to stop throwing hyperbole like that around

        Btw go read my comment again – I never said anything about the past, just the trend for the last 9 months or more has been a downturn in business. After WrestleMania last year, PPVs nosedived compared to 2012. Ratings dropped in a big way as well. It is not a reflection on any one person but many factors

        • Bryan Smith

          I don’t think he was referring to you, but people in general. It is kind of a blanket indictment, but it is kind of a valid point.

      • Snap

        But it doesn’t feel like WrestleMania and that’s not comparing it to any of the previous WWF stars or as a knock on the current stars. There’s just an intangible feel when it comes to the WrestleMania spectacle and for such a landmark show, it feels like just any other PPV. WrestleMania XX really felt special and XXX should have that same feeling, but it’s falling flat.

        I think part of it may be nearly have the card being thrown together two weeks before the show. I guess it’s a byproduct of there being a PPV every month, severely cutting down on the potential to really build WrestleMania and make it as special as it deserves to be.

  • ldb

    Well a few ways to look. One there is no compelling undercard to any of wwe for a while now. Two the general booking has been great. It was had a few great moments with Daniel Bryan and Paul Heyman but not much more than that. and a last possibility is maybe just maybe CM Punks fans did what everyone suggested and quit watching.

  • Bad News Barrett

    well im afraid ive got some BAD NEWS for all of you !! .heres a few home truths for you .you fans are never happy with what you are given are you ?. put daniel bryan in the main event and push cena down the card you all asked . if you do that ratings will pick up you all said ! .well now on the biggest show of them all , wrestlemania XXX bryan is all over the main storyline , in probably two matches at wrestlemania , whilst cena is in a higher mid card feud and nowhere near the title picture and the ratings are still dwindling ! people are still complaining and moaning at wwe . no wonder creative doesnt know what to do to please you fans , when you dont even know yourselves . but fear not ,there is one way to salvage everything. the answer to everyones prayers is #BNB ! yes thats right…me !! you marks and smart marks love me , the office loves me , all of the wwe universe loves me . my segments on raw are one of the highest rated segments on the show ! give me the main event ball and i will carry it .. i was leader of the nexus you know ! hahahaha thank you and good day to you all

    • ron

      I will admit it you are right with some of your points and the championship match should be Cena vs Leaner. Both are in their prime still. Orton vs Batista undertaker vs Bryan shield vs the family and the match I would love to see Punk vs Cesaro (but that would be below the Punked). And Goldie vs Cody.

  • Snap

    The numbers are an interesting fact which, as I have stated in the past, I do not place the credit OR blame for rating performance on any single person but I must admit I will never understand the obsession with what the ratings happen to be from week to week.

    For those of us old enough to remember life without the internet, whether you liked or supported a wrestler had nothing to do with what the ratings were on any given show and, honestly, I don’t think anybody even CARED what the ratings were, what was important was the content of the show. If you like the content, you will watch and if you don’t, you’ll watch something else, but whether it is Daniel Bryan or Brock Lesnar or Bray Wyatt or John Cena, there is a LOT of content in an average three hour RAW which has nothing to do with those names. If those are the only names which appeal to you and you don’t find the rest of the show appealing, are you going to stick around for three hours when there will more than likely be something else on which you will enjoy more?

    The ratings only reflect the live viewership and only in the USA at that. In Canada, on Sportsnet 360, RAW not only has the live broadcast but two replays as well, one of which barely being an hour after the live show. USA, from what I could find out, doesn’t show any replays (though they sure like Law and Order and NCIS) while Hulu picks up RAW shortly after the live broadcast. Then there’s the possibility of people DVRing RAW to watch it at their convenience. Therefore the ratings should NOT be taken as gospel.

  • BIG M

    I think Jim Cornette had pretty good explanation for Raw ratings of the last few years.
    People who are true pro wrestling fans buy PPV’s and tickets to live shows to watch more than 1 performer.
    Everyone has a list of favourites they like watching and hopefully with more new talent joining the roster that list keeps growing person to person.
    But then there are people who channel surf when a NFL game is a blowout or there little else on TV worth watching and they settle on Raw.
    And since there not really fans the only Wrestlers they know are the industries NO.1 draws of he past and (MAYBE) the present.
    And since that list only really contains 4 names HULK, Austin, ROCK and Cena they don’t know or care who the other performers are.
    When none of those 4 guys are on Raw most non fans go “EH what else is on” and start channel surfing again.

  • Eva Marie

    Raw needs more dEva. More red everything!

  • M.C. Elroy

    It sucks to admit, but the ratings would be so much higher if Cena was in the main event. Why? Because mainstream/casual wrestling fans don’t know the difference between a wristlock and a wristwatch!