The post Survivor Series episode of Monday Night Raw drew a new non-holiday record lowand the first show to draw less than 3 million viewers since Raw went to three hours in July 2012. The show managed to draw 2.964 million, 10% down from last week’s 3.293 million. The numbers are based upon a report by Dave Meltzer. Even more alarming is that this the first time since 1997 that WWE Raw has failed to average more than three million viewers, something that is unlikely to be reach by the end of the year.
Despite the low rating, Raw was the number 3 show in viewership behind the NFL on ESPN and Sports Center. Metlzer noted that the NFL match between New England’s Patriots and Buffalo Bills gained around two million more viewers than other totals this season, a possible reason to WWE’s drop. Mike Moneyham, was quick to note on Twitter the drop in ratings and that Raw has failed to achieve three million viewers in a year.
Raw scored a 2.16 rating … down from 2.28 the show drew last week. First time Raw averaged less than three million viewers since 1997.
— Mike Mooneyham (@ByMikeMooneyham) November 24, 2015
Ratings have dropped considerably over the course of this year; historically this is not unusual, we can see a similar pattern between this and last year. The end of the year normally sees a drop in viewers after the fall out from Summerslam, particularly with the beginning of the NFL season as seen below. However the ratings are extremely low for this time of year.
Should WWE be worried about these figures? Partially. WWE pretty much own the market share, revenues are up. The WWE Network is picking up steam and really paying off. None of WWE’s competitors have anywhere near the production level that WWE has. TV ratings are very outdated, the way people watch TV has massively changed in the last decade too and nothing compared to the impact to a time where video streaming on the internet took longer than cooking a thanksgiving dinner. WWE is experiencing growth internationally and NXT has become a massive success story.
At the end of the day, wrestling fans are loyal. Whenever WWE is in town the hardcore fans will turn up regardless of the product. Just look at the 2016 Royal Rumble, it sold out quickly despite the huge disappointments of the last two years events. Other than the Rumble match, fans bought tickets because of the event. The same is true for Wrestlemania, Summerslam and whenever WWE comes to the UK. Fans will continue to suck in and pour their money into the system.
So when it come’s to Raw’s TV ratings, WWE don’t really need to change much in the format or product to remain relevant. TNA on the other needed to and despite peoples critics have done well to recover from the disaster of the TNA Hogan experiment. WWE are financially in a good place, three hours of Raw gain a massive amount of television advertisement revenue. Moving back to two hours will see a huge drop in revenue, for lets be honest not much difference in how the WWE presents Raw. Even if they wanted to they are contractually obliged to provide three hours of Raw due to the recent international TV contracts signed.
In an ideal world, what does WWE need to do to change Raw to make it once again must see.