Airing against a massive NBA playoff game, WWE Raw dropped to its third-lowest viewership of the year but held up among its key demographic.
The May 22 edition of Raw from Hershey, Pennsylvania, averaged 1,638,000 viewers and 704,000 (0.54) in the 18-49 demographic with the show ranking fifth among cable originals on Monday. (Showbuzz Daily and Wrestlenomics)
It was a 4.5 percent viewership drop from last week and Raw’s third lowest number of 2023 behind episodes on January 2 and January 16 that featured NFL competition.
Raw’s overall viewership decline can heavily be attributed to its older audience as adults 50+ registered a 0.74 rating, which was its lowest figure since January 16, and adults 35-49 were down by nine percent.
However, the 18-49 audience was down six percent from last week but was up from two weeks prior but far from the lowest of the year. In the demo, male viewership dropped by seven percent and females declined by eight percent from last week.
Adults 18-34 declined by two percent this week with adults 35-49 dropping by nine percent.
Males 12-34 posted positive numbers with a five percent gain from last week and didn’t fall throughout the show.
Raw faced stiff competition airing against Game 4 of the Denver Nuggets vs. L.A. Lakers that averaged 8,209,000 viewers and a 2.83 rating in the 18-49 to lead everything on television on Monday. The Dallas Stars vs. Las Vegas Golden Knights averaged 1,537,000 and 0.48 on TNT. Last week, there was no NBA competition, but they had a larger NHL audience than this week.
Raw opened with 1,720,000 viewers and 0.54 in the 18-49 demographic, which was higher than last week’s opening hour but still the third lowest of the year for Raw.
Hour two fell to 1,692,000 viewers but increased to 0.58 in the 18-49 demographic. Every key demo grew in the second hour except adults 50+, which dropped by six percent, which emphasizes how concentrated Raw’s overall viewership is within that demo.
The third hour fell to 1,501,000 viewers and 0.50 in the demo, which was the third lowest final hour of Raw this year behind the episodes on January 2 and January 16 and would have been most affected by the NBA game, which ran until 11:20 p.m. ET.
From the first to the third hour, Raw’s overall audience dropped by 13 percent while 18-49 dropped by seven percent, 18-34 dropped by 7.5 percent, and 35-49 declined by 14 percent. 50+ decreased by 15 percent throughout the three hours.
Due to Victoria Day in Canada, the numbers are delayed until Wednesday.
Friday’s episode of SmackDown in Canada averaged approximately 120,000 viewers and 42,000 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360. Those figures were down by eight and 41 percent respectively from last week and finished outside of the top ten sports programs on Friday.