Despite the return of Steve Austin and a heavily promoted episode, WWE Raw was still hit hard by the return of Monday Night Football. Raw experienced a 15% drop and was its second-lowest audience of 2019.
Raw averaged 2,130,000 viewers going against a doubleheader from the NFL. The Houston vs. New Orleans, which was already in progress when Raw began, averaged 13,078,000 viewers and the second game that started midway through the third hour of Raw did 10,619,000 with the Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders.
Raw opened with 2,362,000 viewers, it fell 7.5% to 2,183,000 viewers in the second hour and fell another 15.5% in the third hour. That represents a drop of 21% from the start of the show to the end. They opted to start the show with Steve Austin, and he was featured for the first twenty minutes of the show and then appeared in the closing minutes, but the audience wouldn’t have known he would appear again.
Last year’s return of Monday Night Football saw Raw average 2,700,000, so they were down 21% year-to-year. Although, last year’s Monday Night Football doubleheader was viewed by fewer people with 10,336,000 for the early game and 9,607,000 for the late game. So, the NFL was up 26% and 10.5% respectively for the doubleheader.
The only episode of Raw in 2019 to do fewer viewers was the June 10th episode that averaged 2,125,000, which went against the Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors game in the NBA finals that had 18.2 million viewers watching.