The latest “New Era” beginning and very strong Raw show saw the audience increase to 3.33 million viewers, up seven percent from last week.
The show was built around two four-way matches with the winners meeting in the main event, Finn Balor over Roman Reigns, with the winner facing Seth Rollins to create the first WWE Universal champion at SummerSlam, as well as the Sasha Banks women’s title win over Charlotte.
The ratings usually increase the day after a PPV show and this would be in the usual range. The number was down from the 3.47 million viewers the day after Money in the Bank, the most recent PPV show, so the number in and of itself is not usually large for a day after PPV show.
There was far more competition than usual on cable due to the Democratic National Convention. Raw finished in 12th place for the night on cable, which may be its lowest showing of the year. With the exception of Rizzoli & Isles and Major Crimes on TNT, all the other programming that beat Raw would have been convention coverage on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.
The audience was strongest in the first hour, which isn’t usually the case in the summer, but that has to do with curiosity of people who didn’t watch the PPV. But the second and third hour drops weren’t major.
They are pushing a Raw vs. SmackDown ratings theme and it would be a huge surprise if the SmackDown rating this week came close to Raw number. If it does, that would indicate stronger curiosity toward the brand split. Any number stronger than 2.7 million tonight should be considered a success.
The three hours from last night were:
8 p.m. 3.41 million
9 p.m. 3.35 million
10 p.m. 3.25 million