I have started a new way of tracking this as of July 2009. You can find a description of that method, including data that is being updated weekly, on the TV Match Ratings page.
If you’re curious about what went on during the year-long experiment ending June 2008, keep reading below
Back in July of 2008, I decided to keep track of my viewing time of WWE Monday Night Raw, ECW, TNA, and WWE Smackdown to see if I would be able to tell anything about the direction of the quality of the programming. This is assuming that if the quality (in my opinion) is better, I will watch more, and if the quality drops (again based on my tastes), I will watch less.
What was actually being tracked was the amount of each individual episode of each wrestling program that I viewed. This was shown as a percentage of the total program time, minus commercials. I’m was assuming that 100% of a one hour episode would be 45 mins of programming. If I only watched 30 minutes of it, that would be about 67% viewed.
I also tracked the amount of time from the start of the program until the start of the first match (or pre-match brawl). This is shown in minutes and includes commercial time. It’s a measure of how long you would have to wait to see action if you were tuning in at the top of the show. [This turned out to be not very useful, other than to illustrate how much of the top of the program is wasted (25+ minutes in some cases)]
After experimenting with a few different ways to graph this, the best way I could think of was to show the trend for each program separately. I have a weekly value and a rolling 4-week average for Percent of Episode Viewed and Time Until First Match. For Percent of Episode Viewed I also included a 12-week rolling average, and an overall average for the entire period I was measuring (1 year).
After a full year of collecting this data, I’ve decided to stop with the time measurements. I’d like to try something different going forward.
Below is a brief wrap up of the last 12 months of wrestling viewing (ending the first week of July 2009).
Note: I’m using Google Docs for this. Some the images don’t look so good scaled down. Click on any chart to see a larger, clearer image.
WWE Monday Night Raw
Raw Overall Average % of Episode Viewed: 60%
On average, I watched about 60% of each episode of Monday Night Raw. But if you look at the trend after Wrestlemania you’ll see my interest in Raw has been dropping. I think they ended up being the weakest program after the 2009 draft, up until the recent shuffle they did in the last few weeks (where you can see it started trending up again).
ECW Overall Average % of Episode Viewed: 47%
On average, I watched less than half of each ECW episode over the last year. However, if you look at the trend, ECW has been steadily climbing since about end of Jan 2009, with a nice little bump in the last couple of months. Those early episodes down in the 20’s and teens held the average down.
TNA Overall Average % of Episode Viewed: 61%
On average, I watched slightly more TNA over the last year than I watched Raw. Viewing of TNA has been pretty steady. I’m tired of the whole Main Event Mafia angle, but my interest picked up in the last 3 or 4 months.
WWE Friday Night Smackdown
*NOTE: I missed recording Smackdown for the 2/20/09, 3/6/09, and 4/24/09 shows, so I ended up using the previous week’s data.
Smackdown Overall Average % of Episode Viewed: 43%
On average, I watched the least amount of Smackdown over the last year than I watched any other wrestling program. In the last couple of months though, my viewership has more than doubled what it was at the end of 2008. I think the WWE draft had a lot to do with that. Like ECW, the overall average couldn’t recover and pull this guy out of last place.
Rankings for the last year (ending July 3rd 2009):
(most viewed to least viewed)
#1: TNA (61%)
#2: Raw (60%)
#3: ECW (47%)
#4: Smackdown (43%)
If you want to see the “Time Until First Match” data, go here