Over the past few years, WWE has made numerous attempts to revitalize the third hour of its Monday Night Raw show, but these changes have yet to stick. From altering the lighting and presentation to introducing new segments like Raw Underground, the third hour of the flagship program continues to draw criticism for feeling too lengthy and repetitive.
However, WWE CEO Nick Khan recently revealed in an interview with LightShed Partners that the company is in talks with NBCUniversal to make further changes to the third hour of Raw. Monday Night Raw has been airing for three hours since July 2012, and despite various efforts to keep viewers engaged, the challenge of maintaining interest throughout the entire show remains.
Khan explained that WWE is discussing potential changes to the 10 to 11 p.m. EST hour of Raw with NBCUniversal. The hour falls under basic cable programming rather than broadcast television, providing flexibility for potential alterations.
Khan said, "When we're specifically talking about the 10 to 11 (p.m. EST) hour on Raw, we're talking to NBCU and ourselves about what we do with that moving forward. We ask, what do we do if we tweak this, that 10 to 11 hour, it is basic cable, it's not broadcast, as you know.
We think that NBCU would be supportive, but we're not on a conclusion on that."
Triple H Disapproval of Raw Third Hour
Interestingly, WWE official Paul "Triple H" Levesque has been open about his dislike for Raw's third hour.
An interview clip from 2015 resurfaced shortly after he took over as WWE's Chief Creative Officer, featuring a conversation between him and WWE Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. In the interview, Triple H stated, "If I could change anything, I would love it to be two hours.
The third hour of television is so exponentially harder to write. I can't even begin to describe it to you. It just is tough." While it remains to be seen what specific changes WWE will implement for the third hour, the company's willingness to work with NBCUniversal and explore new ideas could lead to a significant revamp that addresses the long-standing issues with the Monday Night Raw format.
As WWE continues to evolve and adapt to the changing entertainment landscape, these potential changes may be critical to maintaining and growing its audience.