Wrestling Forum banner

How much do the commercials hurt the show?

1195 Views 26 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  Mister Abigail
This is coming from a UK perspective, where generally commercials are structured into 3-4 minute intervals at quarterly intervals, so this question is aimed at our Colonial cousins across the pond...

For us the sheer number of ad breaks during Raw/SD is mind boggling. Ever since Raw began to be shown live in the UK (possible 2002?) I've never got used to it. The taped feed we used to get would be a commercial every 15-20 mins, and where the USA Network cut to commercial live we'd get a 30 second promo for a wrestler or event, without ever leaving the show.

Is this something you're used to that doesn't affect your overall feeling of watching WWE live? I know a lot of sports there have constant ad breaks, so is it part of the entire broadcast for you? Or is it frustrating/shit/ruins it, like it would for me if Raw was on at 8pm instead of 1am and I was watching it live without being able to fast forward?
  • Like
Reactions: Not Lying
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
5,277 Posts
I think the adverts really do wreck a good amount of the show. I know they are a necessity, but they are handled just terribly within the confines of WWE as a wrestling product.

I've spent a fair amount of time in America and had to endure the "Ads every few minutes" mentality, and it's absolutely NEVER anything but annoying, but I do find that when the ads cut a match in half or are placed in between a ring entrance and the start of the match, they really do kill the whole vibe.

It certainly doesn't help that WWE's throws-to-break during matches are literally always the same. Heel gets in a devestating move - "Can the babyface get back into this?" or babyface hits a suicide dive of some sort - "Babyface is in control as RAW rolls on!"

And of course, then we return to find the wrestlers literally waiting for the ref to tell them they're back on the air, so they can release the rest hold and actually do something. This is the worst thing for breaking immersion, as it not only kills it for the people at home, but when you see that happen as a spectator actually there, in the venue, it breaks the immersion for you too.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
I live in the UK and used to watch Raw live with a friend.

Considering there is an ad every, what, 8 minutes it was unwatchable.

Never forgot returning from an ad. Hearing Big Shows music hit, watch him amble to the ring and then cut to another ad.

Starting watching an hour later and skipping the ads helped.
 

· Read Only
Joined
·
3,021 Posts
It`s probably the worst thing about not just this show, but any American wrestling product. It suggests to the viewer that this show/segment is boring and you should be watching something else. Matches are a way to tell/continue the story and progress the storylines, just like promos and backstage segments. It`s like breaking in the middle of dialogue in a movie or tv show when important information is being relayed and plotpoints are being developed. That just wouldn`t happen. I genuinely believe wrestling would be far more overtly popular if commercials were structured around the matches and not in the middle of them. The way it done now, and has been since 2001, has straight up ruined the experience for those watching as home and a key reason why wrestling dropped off in popularity. No one wants to sit through commercials when they are watching for the action.

The way commercials were handled during the Attitude Era & Lucha Underground was the right way - do the match, then go to break.
 

· Hardcore Casual
Joined
·
2,745 Posts
It`s probably the worst thing about not just this show, but any American wrestling product. It suggests to the viewer that this show/segment is boring and you should be watching something else. Matches are a way to tell/continue the story and progress the storylines, just like promos and backstage segments. It`s like breaking in the middle of dialogue in a movie or tv show when important information is being relayed and plotpoints are being developed. That just wouldn`t happen. I genuinely believe wrestling would be far more overtly popular if commercials were structured around the matches and not in the middle of them. The way it done now, and has been since 2001, has straight up ruined the experience for those watching as home and a key reason why wrestling dropped off in popularity. No one wants to sit through commercials when they are watching for the action.
But they do that often, both in the middle of shows and at the end of them. It's called a cliffhanger and is among the most commonly-used literary devices. Also, I wouldn't go so far as to say it suggests that it's boring and you should watch something else. Have you ever watched American football? There are commercials at every down and then some; it's absolutely insane. But it comes down the financial incentive content producers have to allow as many ads as possible to be played during their program.

That said, commercials are the bane of my existence, and I pretty much do not watch network television for that reason. But it's not a problem exclusive to WWE, that's for sure.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
37,516 Posts
I mean if you live in the US you're used to a shit ton of commercials. A typical 30 minute show has 7 to 9 minutes of commercials. WWE has been using the commercials during matches since at least the Ruthless Aggression era. Imagine most folk flip the channel during break. I'll usually flip to whatever live sport is in during the break.
 

· Read Only
Joined
·
3,021 Posts
But they do that often, both in the middle of shows and at the end of them. It's called a cliffhanger and is among the most commonly-used literary devices. Also, I wouldn't go so far as to say it suggests that it's boring and you should watch something else. Have you ever watched American football? There are commercials at every down and then some; it's absolutely insane. But it comes down the financial incentive content producers have to allow as many ads as possible to be played during their program.

That said, commercials are the bane of my existence, and I pretty much do not watch network television for that reason. But it's not a problem exclusive to WWE, that's for sure.
1. Why do you need a cliffhanger in the middle of a wrestling match? Why not after a match, to build to the PPV or next storyline? At least on regular tv shows, something significant happens or is mentioned before the breaks occur.

Basically, think of a match like a short film, building towards a bigger feature film. Why would a short film need a commercial break in the middle of it when is it not going to be that time consuming in the first place?

2. If you’re watching for the action, technically they are saying that. It`s a mistake to assume that all fans watch for stories or mic skills or promos. Some literally just want the action.

3. Yes, I have watched American football before. I even watched the Superbowl this past weekend. And the breaks occur when a play is stopped, or the quarter is over. Not when the players are actively in play tackling each other, or passing to another player, or attempting a touchdown. WWE on the other hand thinks that just because someone goes to the outside of the ring, it`s time to go to break, even though numerous brawls have occurred on the outside of the ring in WWE alone. They’re competing with their own history here.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
19,896 Posts
The only thing I watch live are sports and the amount of commercials has certainly increased on all TV programs over the past 30 years. It is pretty ridiculous and it is a big reason why Amazon, Netflix, HBO, other streaming services etc are taking off more and more. cable/satellite is dying and only sustained by old people who do not want to use smart devices. I have never watched any non-sports on cable/satellite in almost 15 years now. For WWE/AEW I just read something online during the commercial usually.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,148 Posts
What REALLY hurts Raw is being on the USA Netswork. Lucha Underground had the advantage of being on a badass action oriented El Rey Network, where a wrestling show fit right in.

Being a wrestling fan which makes more sense as an ad for you? A "reality" show with some sassy, white trash, but also classy middle aged man's family or a Bruce Lee marathon?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
603 Posts
I rarely watch live tv due to commercials. To sit through them is voluntary brainwash. I will tolerate them for AEW and the NFL, but if I could buy a commercial free package for either of those I would. Ad revenue is what keeps the cameras rolling I guess.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
15,663 Posts
You mean Monday Night CommecRaw? I think it's great I get to see all the new products and services coming out!

Oh wait.. it's a wrestling show isn't it.. I kinda forgot.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,455 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It ruins everything aired from the US for me. We're lucky in the UK I suppose because when we watch any NFL or Golf for example it cuts back to the Sky Sports studio who then show a couple of highlights from another game, or discuss a play. It still destroys the flow, but it's more bearable.

With WWE it is an absolute killer. I was curious if it was the mentality of the UK because we aren't used to it, but sounds like in the US it's horrific, even though it's the norm.

Say what you will for Russo, but he never let a match go to a commercial. He must piss himself that today Kevin Dunn thinks a suicide dive/"Can he get back into it when Raw rolls on" is a cliffhanger.

I get the ad revenue is a monster part of business, but why aren't US ad breaks structured? I mean entrance - match - finish - any post match drama or backstage segment/promo with hook - break. Why isn't that formula followed? You'd get far more talent on air, faster matches (for the casual fan) and can work segment to segment to keep viewers engaged.

Today it feels like they're filling three hours with matches going on for 15-20 mins, and not even considering the commercials and its impact on the show.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
7,171 Posts
I would rather have shorter matches so the breaks wouldn't be in-between matches. The matches that get commercial breaks are usually ones that are dragging too long. Asuka vs. Natalya for example and Rey vs. Angel Garza went on much longer than they needed to.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,455 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yep. Exactly what it was like during the boom period (I know I use the AE a lot as an example, but it's hard to argue with their peak success). They had short matches where the focus was on the finish to advance a story, and it allowed for more talent to be on TV and more fans were engaged as they weren't asked to follow a 15-20 min match - especially if they were more casual.

If WWE need to get their ads in, why don't they simply have less breaks and charge more per second in the more limited time available for advertisers? Wouldn't that be a way to keep revenue consistent? Especially if the show went back to short, sharp matches with cliffhangers on every segment.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
14,938 Posts
They do hurt the show. I watch the shows through DVR now so I fast forward through commercials. Still when I watched WWE live there was nothing worse than in the middle of a match for a commentator to say now we're going to commercial.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
603 Posts
Why aren't US ad breaks structured? I mean entrance - match - finish - any post match drama or backstage segment/promo with hook - break. Why isn't that formula followed? You'd get far more talent on air, faster matches (for the casual fan) and can work segment to segment to keep viewers engaged.
It would be better that way, but I can see the ad agencies viewing this format as too predictable. People would know when to take a piss or go to the fridge for a beer. They want you watching.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top