In its first week without football competition since the summer, WWE Raw reclaimed its place on top of the cable charts for the evening.
Monday’s go-home episode before the Royal Rumble scored its highest overall viewership since last October’s draft with an average of 1,766,000 viewers over the three-hour program on the USA Network.
Raw was first among cable originals with approximately 602,000 (0.46) in the 18-49 demographic, its best mark in the demo since November 22nd, which was the night after the Survivor Series, with data from Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics and Showbuzz Daily.
Overall viewership improved by 8 percent this week while the 18-49 audience grew by 7 percent.
The opening hour of the program averaged 1,822,000 and 0.45 in the 18-49 demographic. In hour two, the audience grew to 1,882,000 and 0.47 respectively making them the most-watched hours of Raw since the draft last October.
In the third hour, the audience dropped to 1,553,000, although the demo rating remained the same at 0.47.
The increase in viewership was largely driven by men 18-49. M35-49 was up 18% compared to the prior four weeks. M18-34 was up 7%.
— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) January 25, 2022
The one demographic that didn’t see a bump was the 18-34 that declined by 8 percent this week with the loss more concentrated among men.
In 50+, the demo peaked with a 1.00 rating in the second hour but took a big plunge to 0.78 in the third hour representing a decline of 20.4 percent from the first to the third hour.
Throughout the episode, the overall audience fell by 12.5 percent, but the 18-49 rating grew by 4 percent throughout the show. Males 18-49 also grew 9 percent throughout the show as did males 12-34 by 22 percent from a 0.22 in hour one to 0.28 in the final hour.
Raw was promoted around three non-wrestling segments throughout the week with the weigh-in involving Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley, an academic challenge involving Alpha Academy and RK-Bro, and The Miz’s birthday celebration for Maryse that closed the show.
In Canada, Raw averaged 198,900 viewers and 102,500 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360. Raw was #4 among sports broadcasts in the country behind the Australian Open coverage, Pardon the Interruption, and the Montreal Canadiens vs. Minnesota Wild game. However, Raw was #2 in the demo behind Pardon the Interruption.
In theory, Raw should be poised to have one of its biggest numbers of the year next week coming off the Royal Rumble.