A combination of being the day after a pay-per-view and bringing back Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Big Show, and Christian allowed Raw to have a huge increase this week against the toughest competition in a long time.
Raw averaged 1.82 million viewers on the USA Network last night. In the 18-49 demo, the show did a 0.55 rating. Both numbers are up 10 percent from last week on a night where many going in expected the lowest ratings in the history of the show due to the competition.
And the competition was there. The Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens NFL game did 14.02 million viewers and 4.60 in 18-49. The final game of the Stanley Cup finals series where the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Dallas Stars did 2.88 million viewers and 0.8 in 18-49, which aired on NBC.
In addition, news shows were way up with Tucker Carlson doing 5.02 million viewers against the first hour of Raw, which was the highest hour.
The key was the big first hour of Raw, as there was a 14 percent first-to-third hour drop, larger than the show has been doing of late.
Raw was 28th for the night overall on cable, but only lost to football and SportsCenter on ESPN, and news shows on Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN, beating all entertainment shows in both total viewers and in 18-49.
Raw was fourth behind ESPN shows in males 18-49 on cable, fifth behind ESPN shows in 18-34, sixth in women 18-49, fifth in males 12-34, and fifth in women 12-34.
However, the year-to-year drops remain large. Raw was down 29 percent in viewers from the same week last year, down 38 percent in 18-49, and down 44 percent in 18-34.
As far as losses during the show, the women 18-49 drop was 15 percent from hour one to three, males 18-49 fell seven percent, teenage girls dropped 27 percent and teenage boys increased seven percent, while over 50, the largest audience, was down 15 percent.
The three hours were:
8 p.m. 1.96 million viewers
9 p.m. 1.82 million viewers
10 p.m. 1.69 million viewers