The ratings for this week’s episodes of Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live are now in.
Monday Night Raw was down quite dramatically on September 26th, drawing an average of 2.47 million viewers, according to TV by the Numbers. This is largely due to the presidential debate, and indeed, nearly 500,000 people tuned out of Raw once the debate started. By the third hour, only 2.2 million were still watching, whereas 2.8 million were watching when the show began.
For comparison, last week’s episode of Monday Night Raw drew an average of 2.68 million viewers. About 2.6 million people were still watching in the second hour of last week’s Raw, compared to this week’s 2.3 million.
On the other hand, SmackDown Live continues to rise in the ratings, bringing in 2.34 million viewers this week, according to TV by the Numbers. That’s up slightly from last week, which was seen by 2.29 million people.
Over two months after the WWE brand extension, SmackDown Live is still falling short of Monday Night Raw in the ratings, but the gap is getting increasingly narrow. Prior to July, SmackDown was generally seen as the less important show, where little plot advancement occurred. Now, not only is it the exclusive home of the World Championship and of superstars like John Cena and AJ Styles, but a lot of fans now feel that it’s superior to Raw due to its shorter running time and more compelling storylines.
SmackDown also beat Raw for the first time in 11 years over the summer, bringing in 3.17 million viewers for the special draft ceremony on July 19th. Viewership that night was up 53 percent from the previous week, when SmackDown was only seen by 2.06 million fans.
Raw airs Mondays at 8 on the USA Network, while SmackDown Live airs Tuesdays at 8.