Apparently, prime-time viewership for 18-24 year old males is down 20% from last year, and for 18-34 year old males, it is down 12%. Some people are beginning to question the validity of the Nielsen ratings (though others say that perhaps TV quality is what should be questioned).
Anyway, this would not bode well for Raw and Smackdown, and could explain why their ratings has taken a hit (though once again you can go back to the quality issue).
(edited by ges7184 on 22.10.03 2200) Everything that is wrong in this world can be blamed on Freddie Prinze Jr.
When they calculate those stats, do they account for the fact that the pools studied are not the same? This year's 18-24 year olds are last year's 17-23 year olds, so its possible that some difference in the behaviour of current 25 year olds and 18 year olds drives those stats.
If I had to pick a reason, I'd wager that video and computer gaming are siphoning off a greater and greater group of young men, but I'm probably biased in my analysis.
I'm 32, and I can't remember the last time I watched a single network TV (as in ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX/UPN/WB) program on a regular basis.
If my TV is on, it's either for a game system, or for something on cable -- and even then I don't watch much. I have 80+ channels, but I can think of only a handful I watch more than once a week: Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, Weather Channel, sports if something interesting's going on.
Oddly, the last time I watched network TV regularly was when I _was_ in that age demographic, when I followed NYPD Blue and Picket Fences for a while.
"There were times when I intensely wanted to walk out of the theater and into the fresh air and look at the sky and buy an apple and sigh for our civilization, but I stuck it out." -- Roger Ebert