“USA Network is happy with WWE RAW’s third hour”, states WWE CFO George Barrios. Barrios participated the 40th annual UBS Global Media Conference in New York City on Monday and said the company is very focused on creating new content. Barrios went on a bit of a run when talking about WWE’s progress, especially with it’s newest ventures.
Barrios spoke about new shows WWE Main Event and WWE Saturday Morning Slam, noting that Saturday Morning Slam on the CW Network is up 50% over what it replaced and Main Event on Ion is up about 15% from the programming it replaced. He then spoke about RAW and it’s third hour, saying that the third hour of RAW is up 35% versus the programming that was airing in its place on the USA Network. He added that “USA is very happy with that”.
While WWE can be happy it’s long time network is happy with it’s third hour, they also are quick to glaze over the fact that RAW itself has slumped in the ratings since the third hour became permanent. WWE RAW was averaging a rating score of about 2.8 to 3.5 from January to the summer time. Right now, the average is 2.4 to 2.9. Which is completely horrible for WWE RAW standards. It’s not as if the content is bad or anything of the like.
The reason is that the third and first hour sucks. Keep in mind that the third hour that Barrios is mentioning is not 10-11 or 9-10 hour slot, which RAW has had for some time. Rather, the 8-9 or 7-8 hour slot. Which is usually always low for USA due to the programming it goes up against on those nights at the same hour. Shows like Bones, House, How I met your Mother, Dancing with the Stars, and even American Idol have all competed at this hour against RAW and on network TV no less.
While going up slightly in the hour slot, and trust me, 35% isn’t as big a deal as Barrios wants to make it seem it is. WWE RAW’s total number at the end of the day is not good. In fact, the final hour has seen a drop off and on due to people not caring to watch a 3 hour program. Often times, the times the first hour goes up the last hour goes down. And the same can be said if we swapped the two.
If you do the math, WWE would average around a 3.0 if the third hour was removed from it’s program. But due to the hour add, they slip down in their total number. With RAW having consistent lower numbers, USA eventually has to think, is a third hour best? Because keep in mind, TV Networks are measured on the total of all their TV shows. Having a 3.0 vs a 2.4 can mean a lot in TV language. If USA were to slip down to #2 for the first time in 6 years, maybe that will be the wake up call.
But what do I know, a guy with two media degrees whose been doing this a while now.
Oh, and in case you were wondering Barrios was asked about WWE Network, and had nothing new to add. Yeah, we’ll probably never see it as fans in our lifetime.