Ratings were down before the move to three hours which kills you're argument.
Mehhh, kinda, but not really.
Yeah, ratings were down as far as in they have been on a fairly consistent downward trend annually since around 2006. However, needless to say, that was way before Punk was moved to the current focus of the show.
As per Gerweck.net:
2012 (so far)- 3.06
So in effect, it could also be said that "Ratings were down before the move
" of the focus to Punk "which kills your argument
." (That assumes your argument was ever that Punk was the main cause of the ratings dip, which, since I'm new here, I don't know and so will give you the benefit of the doubt.)
As per the Gerweck charts below, the ratings average from 11/21/11, when Punk won his current title, to the 1000th RAW, when the 3 hour change was made, the ratings average was approximately(~) 3.14.
After the 1000th Raw, since 3 hours has been permanent (7/30/12), the average has been ~2.86.
If we extrapolate back to 6/27/11, the night of Punk's shoot when he became the focus of the show, through to the 1000th RAW, the average was ~3.11, and from 6/27/11 (the shoot) to 11/14/11 just before Punk won the title, the ratings average was ~3.06.
So actually, since Punk won his current title up to the 1000th RAW, the ratings average took a slight bump upwards, a ~3.14 compared to either the ~3.11 and/or ~3.06 above, which ever you choose to use to compare.
So the real dive downwards does in fact appear to have started with the 3 hour change.
Also, the below charts seem to imply an annual downward trend when heading into the holiday season and then an upward trend during the Road to WM. So the inference from this is that even without Punk as champ and even without 3 hours, ratings would be down around this time of the year regardless. 3 hours just seems to make it that much lower.