It was another knockout punch for World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) flagship show, Monday Night Raw.
Despite an increase in viewership from last week's show, the December 10 edition of Monday Night Raw still remained under four million viewers (via TV By the Numbers).
Monday Night Raw began its first hour on a decent note, pulling in 3.74 million viewers. The show's second hour saw an increase to 3.87 million viewers. However, Raw's final hour continued its struggles, dropping viewership down to 3.67 million viewers, the lowest of the night.
In adults 18-49, Raw's first hour scored a 1.2 rating share. The show's second and third hour increased slightly to a 1.3 rating share.
NFL Monday Night Football dominated cable television with 14.4 million viewers, making it the No. 1 program. In adults 18-49, Monday Night Football had a 5.5 rating share.
Will Viewership Change for Monday Night Raw to Begin 2013?
It remains clear that WWE is seeing troubling viewership numbers because of two primary reasons:
The first reason is due to the stiff television competition on Monday nights. With the NFL season still at hand, WWE will continue to struggle to find new viewers into watching its program.
The second reason that WWE cannot find any positive momentum on Monday nights is because its programming is not attracting any sort of attention for viewers to truly care about. However, that could all change with the Royal Rumble pay-per-view coming up in January.
Eventually, WWE should finally see a break in its viewership struggles and gain better results. Once NFL Monday Night Football concludes, Raw could finally be back towards the top of cable television's Top 50 list.
However, WWE still has problems it must resolve and that is pointed at its programming. Its product is just not gaining much steam and storylines have not brought in new viewers. To add to the list of problems that must be addressed, Monday Night Raw's third hour must also be reconsidered. With sudden drops in viewership thanks to its third hour, Raw is failing to end the night on a positive note.
CM Punk and The Rock could be WWE's comeback feud:
Look for WWE legend The Rock to help contribute the company in a positive light. By forming a major feud such as CM Punk and The Rock for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble, Monday Night Raw may finally see some new life.
The WWE needs to book this feud correctly. In the short term, WWE will have some new life into its product and perhaps create a better show to attract new viewers. The company has been unsuccessful in making any sort of significant gains in viewership. With 2012 about to come to an end and 2013 around the corner, WWE must flip the page into a new chapter.
If The Rock were to win the title at the Royal Rumble, WWE may see a pretty successful run heading into its biggest pay-per-view of them all, WrestleMania. Only time will tell in what WWE has in store for viewers.