WWE Ratings: ‘Monday Night Raw’ Still Drawing More Viewers Than ‘SmackDown’

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Since the 2016 draft, SmackDown has continued to draw a smaller audience than Monday Night Raw. (WWE.com)

Both of the WWE’s major programs, Monday Night Raw and SmackDown, scored an impressive number of viewers this week, but Raw continues to come out ahead of its blue counterpart.

August 22nd’s episode of Monday Night Raw drew approximately 3.4 million viewers, according to TV By the Numbers. This is a substantial increase from the previous week, when Raw drew 3.0 million viewers while going up against the Olympics.

SmackDown also performed quite well this week, although the WWE was not able to retain all of the Raw audience. August 23rd’s SmackDown brought in 2.7 million viewers, according to TV By the Numbers. That’s about 700,000 fewer than Raw, but it’s an increase from the previous week’s SmackDown, which was watched by 2.4 million people.

During the 2016 draft ceremony on July 19th, SmackDown actually beat Raw in the ratings for the first time in 11 years. But this has not happened again since; Raw has been consistently performing better than SmackDown, despite the WWE’s efforts to promote both shows as equally important and give SmackDown a greater push.

Here’s a breakdown of both shows’ number of viewers since the draft:

  • July 25th Raw: 3.3 million; July 26th SmackDown: 2.7 million
  • August 1st Raw: 3.4 million; August 2nd SmackDown: 2.6 million
  • August 8th Raw: 2.9 million; August 9th SmackDown: 2.4 million
  • August 15th Raw: 3.0 million; August 16th Raw: 2.4 million
  • August 22nd Raw: 3.4 million; August 23rd SmackDown: 2.7 million.

These ratings might be surprising to those viewers who have felt that in recent weeks SmackDown has actually been the superior showNot only is it leaner than its Monday night equivalent, but it’s also home to the WWE World Championship and to some of the best superstars in the company, including John Cena, AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose and Becky Lynch.

Next week on Raw, four superstars will compete for the WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Big Cass and Roman Reigns. And at Backlash on September 11th, the SmackDown Women’s Championship and SmackDown Tag Team Championship will both be rewarded for the first time. Will the two new belts be enough for SmackDown to catch up to Raw in the ratings? Or will viewers continue to see SmackDown as a less important show?