Dec 28, 2016 - by Colin Vassallo

2016 was not a stellar year for Monday Night Raw viewership, with the show only surpassing an average of 4 million viewers twice in 52 weeks. The first hour of Raw managed to crack the 4 million viewers mark only three times in 2016, same as the second hour. The third hour of the show however only did that twice. Breaking the 3.5 million average viewership was also a hard task to accomplish as Raw only managed to do that eight times and the show failed to crack the 3 million average on 17 different occasions. Since Monday Night Football restarted on ESPN on September 12, Raw cracked the 3 million viewership average three times only. Before MNF started, Raw averaged 3.36 million viewers while in the past 16 weeks, the show did 2.82 million viewers on average, losing half a million viewers a week on average. Raw pulled in 3.19 million average viewers over the past 52 weeks, down from the 3.95 million viewers average it did in 2015, 4.04 million it did in 2014, 4.10 million in 2013, and 3.99 million in 2012. The most-watched Raw of 2016 was the January 25 episode, the night after the Royal Rumble. On that night, the show did 4.14 million in the first hour, 4.18 million in the second hour, and 3.97 million in the third hour for an average of 4,098,000 viewers. Coming in very close to that episode was the post-WrestleMania Raw on April 4 which did 4,090,000 viewers. Hour one did 4.27 million viewers, hour two did 4.17 million, and hour three did 3.81 million. The first hour of this Raw was the most watched of the whole year. The February 22 episode also did a good number. That episode featured the surprise return of Shane McMahon. Hour one did 4.2 million viewers, 4.0 million in the second hour, and then dropped off big time to 3.39 million in the third hour for an average of 3,884,000 viewers. The worst number for Raw this year was the September 26 episode, which got 2,487,000 average viewers, the worst number in two decades for the show. That night, hour one started with 2.85 million viewers, then had a massive drop to 2.38 million in the second and further down to 2.2 million in the third hour. The 2.2 million of that third hour was the least-viewed hour of Raw. Since the draft started in July, Raw only lost once in the ratings to Smackdown. It was the draft episode of Smackdown on July 19 which beat Raw in the week’s ratings. Raw that week on July 18 had an average of 3.13 million viewers and Smackdown did 3.17 million.

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