As the crisp autumn air sweeps in, it's no surprise that the world of professional wrestling is bracing itself for the annual ratings challenge posed by the juggernaut of football season. AEW recently felt the impact of college football on its ratings, with "Collision" feeling the effects of Saturday night college games.
Now, it was WWE's turn to go head-to-head with the NFL as "Raw" took on the inaugural "Monday Night Football" game of the season, featuring the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. Expectations were tempered, with many anticipating a dip in viewership for "Raw." And a dip it was.
According to reports from Wrestlenomics, last night's episode of "Raw" garnered an average of 1,353,000 million viewers overall, earning a 0.40 rating in the coveted P18-49 demographic, which translates to approximately 527,000 viewers in that age group.
These figures represent a historic low for "Raw," with the exception of a "Best of Raw" episode that aired on December 26, 2022.
Raw Ratings Plunge Against Football Frenzy
Compared to the previous week, the ratings for Monday night's "Raw" experienced a significant downturn, with total viewership plummeting by 27 percent, while the key demographic of 18-to-49-year-old viewers saw a 22 percent decline.
The primary reason for this decline can be attributed to the fierce competition posed by the electrifying Jets-Bills game, which posted astonishing numbers across three different networks. The game garnered over 22.6 million viewers in total, with 11.7 million tuned in to ABC, another 9.4 million on ESPN, and an additional 1.5 million viewers engaging with the "Manningcast" broadcast of the game on ESPN2.
Looking ahead, the road doesn't seem any smoother for "Raw." In the upcoming week, the show is set to face a formidable challenge as it goes head-to-head with not one, but two "Monday Night Football" games. The Saints will clash with the Panthers on ESPN, while the Browns take on the Steelers on ABC.
With only two matches announced for "Raw" so far, featuring Drew McIntyre against Jey Uso and Shinsuke Nakamura facing off against Ricochet, it remains to be seen how the wrestling powerhouse will fare against the gridiron giants in the weeks to come.
As football season kicks into high gear, the battle for viewership intensifies, and "Raw" finds itself in the midst of a ratings struggle that demands both resilience and innovation to stay in the game.