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Raw’s Cody Rhodes strategy seems to be helping its ratings

The May 16 episode was mostly helped by the lack of NBA & NHL Playoff games, but hyping the American Nightmare for hour three for the second straight week also seemed to pay off.

Steph Curry & the Golden State Warriors did WWE & USA a favor. By finishing their second round NBA Playoff series off in six games, they gave the May 16 Raw a night off from nationally televised sports competition. The red brand responded by winning the night on cable for the first time in more than a month.

Raw average 1.74 million viewers across its three hours, with a .45 rating in 18-49. That’s actually not much of an improvement over last week (5% and 2%, respectively), but it was way ahead of every other cable original (Bravo’s Below Deck was second with a .33 in the demo).

Here’s the hourly break down for total viewers and 18-49:

Hour One: 1.75 million / .46
Hour Two: 1.82 million / .46
Hour Three: 1.65 million / .44

Worth noting that this is the second straight week WWE’s heavily promoted Cody Rhodes for the third hour, and it certainly doesn’t seem to hurt. The 10pm ET hour is always the least watched regardless of time of year & competition, but the drops haven’t been that bad with this strategy.

Next Monday’s schedule includes one basketball and two hockey playoff games, so Raw’s run atop the cable charts figures to be one-and-done for now.

For complete results and this week’s Raw live blog click here. To read a recap & review of the night’s events click here. For video highlights of the show click here.

Numbers via Showbuzz Daily