Wrestling’s Return to USA Brings More Viewers


USA Network and Spike TV’s new grappling lineups pinned strong starts last Monday.

The return of Monday Night Raw to USA Network pinned almost 5.2 million viewers on average during its three-hour run on Oct. 3. The show was cable’s best for the night, averaging a 4.4 household mark, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

On a demographic basis, Raw pulled 2.9 million adults 18 to 49 and 2.5 million watchers 25 to 54.

In its regular 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. timeslot, Raw averaged a 4.7 household rating and some 6 million total viewers, 3.1 million of whom were adults 18 to 49 and 2.8 million of whom were 25 to 54. That was nearly 2 million more total viewers than Spike had during its final Raw telecast the week prior, according to Nielsen data.

For its part, Spike TV officials said nearly 2 million viewers tuned in its Ultimate Fight Night Live special and weekly series The Ultimate Fighter 2 on Oct. 3.

The network said Ultimate Fight Night Live earned a 1.6 household rating with 1.9 million viewers. Spike noted that the two-hour special garnered 1.1 million viewers among men 18 to 49 and 670,000 men 18 to 34.

The weekly premiere episode of The Ultimate Fighter 2 earned a 1.3 rating and 1.9 million total viewers. The show attracted 1.1 million males 18 to 49 and 718,000 men 18 to 34, according to officials of the male-aimed service.