Another Monday, another holiday. And for the second straight week for Monday Night Raw... not much of a problem. In the case of the Jan. 1, 2018, episode, WWE went head-to-head with the college football semi-final playoff games, too, and still managed to increase their viewership from the week prior.
USA Network did make the first hour commercial-free, and WWE delivered John Cena and some big plot developments - not the least of which was a surprising title change in the overrun.
Overall, this week’s episode drew 2.87 million viewers, up from last week’s 2.7 million. The hourly drop is still there, but isn’t too bad. That may have been aided by holding Brock Lesnar and Kane until the end, or fans tuning in after the thrilling Georgia vs. Oklahoma game ended/giving up on Alabama’s less suspenseful victory over Clemson. Regardless, WWE will take these numbers against games which drew 25.9 and 20 million viewers, respectively:
Hour one: 2.97 million
Hour two: 2.91 million
Hour three: 2.71 million
So bringing folks in for Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns, and getting them to stick around for The Beast and The Machine proved to be a pretty good formula. We’ll see how WWE builds on it as the Road to Royal Rumble starts in earnest on Jan. 8.