Tea Time with Liam: The Fuss about Ratings

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to what is fast becoming the laziest wrestling column ever, Tea Time with Liam. I am of course Liam and as always I come to you from that tiny Island known as The United Kingdom. Once again I’ve been lazy and inconsistent with my articles. But in a funny way, I’ve actually became consistent with the inconsistency . Does that even make sense? I have no clue, Will any of this article make sense? Once again I have no clue. Let me know. Send me a tweet to let me know I make no sense. Anyway. Lets get on with this weeks/months/years article (are these jokes working out for you)

On Monday night WWE turned back to the successful formula of bringing in Vince McMahon in the hope of a ratings boost. The ratings have been steadily decreasing since Raw changed to the three hour format. So this week, it was down to the owner to bring back the viewers. As always, he did just that. In a very good sign., over six hundred thousand more people tuned in to this weeks Raw. The main question is, will these people be watching again next week or was the Vince factor just a short term fix.

It’s not all to difficult to see where the viewers have gone, It’s no coincidence that when the NFL starts in September, Raw’s rating drops. Has Monday Night Raw ever has a higher rating than Monday Night Football? This week it was the Jets versus the Texans. Now if you’re a casual wrestling fan who just happened to be a fan of either the Jets or the Texans, I wonder what you were watching this week. My guess would be Monday Night Football. It amazes me when I hear all these stories about WWE being worried about ratings. The NFL is huge and it’s always more likely to grab the attention of casual wrestling fans, particularly if the team you support is playing. I’m not saying WWE wants to beat the NFL because that will never happen. They have to work hard to take a chunk of viewers. But when you manage to do it, you also have to make them want to watch next week.

Football aside, Raw is just too long right now. A three hour show, which seems to be filled up with longer promos, more backstage sketches and more commercial breaks. When Raw was two hours long, I often struggled to hold interest. Now with the move to three hours, I’m finding it even harder to keep myself interested in what’s happening. This past Monday, I didn’t see the whole show. I fell asleep about half way through. Now you could argue that I live in the UK and most people would be asleep by three in the morning but I’ve been watching Raw for years and none too often do I fell asleep during Raw. Maybe twice in the past two years. Little side notes, the times I did fall asleep, I missed the first Nexus invasion of Raw and CM Punks shoot promo last year. Moving back to the topic at hand. I can’t get into Raw much when I see a segment followed by a commercial, then another segment followed by another commercial, then an entrance followed by yet another commercial.

It’s not surprising that in most or maybe even all of Raw’s three hour episodes to date, by hour three, the viewer ship is down. Come hour three, the NFL game is usually hanging around somewhere in the third quarter. If it’s a particular exciting or close game, I can see why more viewers would be switching over to see the end. People check into the see the score, see that’s it’s close and decide to see it out until the end. I have a simple solution to this problem. Just schedule all of the Cleveland Brown’s games on a Monday Night. We all know they’re going to lose so nobody needs to watch. (that was a joke by the way before any angry football fans get in touch with me. I’m a Browns fan so I have a right to joke at their expense)

Something else which I haven’t seen many people mention is this. Hour three of Raw hits at Ten in the evening Eastern Standard Time. We know with WWE now being PG that they will be a lot of children watching. Now I’m assuming that these children watching will have school the following morning. Ten at night is pretty late for a kid in school. Wouldn’t most of them be in bed by this time. Parents who don’t watch wrestling would simply just switch the channel. That’s a percentage of your viewers gone right there.

Viewers may be dropping, but Raw has actually been pretty good lately. The pairing of Punk and Heyman has been awesome. Cena has cut down on his comedy and became slightly more serious. Kane and Daniel Bryan are possibly the most entertaining aspect of WWE right now. What hurts Raw is the overlong segments and added commercials which seem to kill the show. I think the fans in attendance must feel it too (That fan who Punk smacked certainly felt it) The fans do seem to quiet down as the show goes on and as most of you know a quiet crowd can kill the atmosphere of a show.

So what can be done to grab the viewers back? What should be done? Should Raw start earlier so the children can stay up and watch. Should Vince come back permanently in the hope some old school attitude era fans would be tempted back? Should Raw revert back to two hours? Should the creative department be completely overhauled in the hope new writers would introduce fresh exciting content? WWE could attempt all of the above. Would any of those ideas work? I don’t know. I honestly believe WWE will just ride this out like they do every other year, When March arrives and the football is over, those casual fans will probably come back. This is a yearly cycle where the IWC believes that the WWE is in some kind of turmoil because their ratings are dipping. It’s not a big deal

Let me know what you think. Is there a real problem with the WWE’s ratings? Are people worrying for no reason? Is it something that we as fans need to concern ourselves with? Let me know your opinion. I enjoy reading the thoughts of others.

Time for the plugs.

As always you can follow me on Twitter Here

Check out my blog to see all my previous columns Here

Until next time. Thanks for reading.