USA’s ‘WWE Raw’ Hits Nearly 3-Year Ratings High on Monday

Despite tough competition for male viewers from Comedy Central’s roast of Justin Bieber, USA wrestling series “WWE Monday Night Raw” soared Monday to its largest audience in nearly three years.

On the heels of Sunday night’s Wrestlemania 31, where Seth Rollins won his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship, the big draw for audiences on Monday was Brock Lesnar challenging Rollins to a rematch. Also, U.S. champion John Cena defended his title against Dean Ambrose.

According to Nielsen, an average audience of 5.4 million (including 2.4 million adults 18-49) watched from 8 to 11 p.m., making USA the No. 1 cable network during primetime in both categories. Week to week, “WWE Raw” was up by 27% in adults 18-49, 24% in adults 25-54 and 28% in total viewers.

The 5.4 million viewers is the largest for a night of USA’s “WWE Monday Night Raw” since the “Raw 1000” special in July 2012.

With its three-hour “WWE Raw,” USA also rose to No. 1 among cable networks in primetime in adults 18-49 (1.9) and was No. 1 on all of television from 8 to 11 p.m. in  adults 18-34 (1.8), men 18-34 (2.5), men 18-49 (2.5) and men 25-54 (2.7).

(“WWE Raw” and Comedy Central’s “Roast of Justin Bieber” went head to head for more than an hour on Monday, but more than half of the roast fell outside of primetime. The roast was the night’s top program in men 18-34 and men 18-49 while “WWE Raw” was cable’s top show in adults 25-54 and men 25-54.)

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