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No Mercy
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1,471 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Thought it was an interesting article and decided to post. Very good points made. Under fire, indeed.

"It’s been a month since WWE has broken the three million overnight viewer mark for their flagship program, Monday Night Raw. This week’s show brought in just 2,615,000 viewers, their lowest number of 2017. To give you an idea how bad that number is, for the same broadcast last year, they did 3,268,000 viewers. That means that year to year, 653,000 people, a full 20 percent of the audience, decided not to watch Raw on Monday. If this were a one week, isolated case, WWE could chalk it off to being an aberration.

But the fact of the matter is that this is a pattern that has been in place for a while now. WWE is losing real time viewers, which goes against everything they sold Raw and Smackdown on to The USA Network in 2014. Back then, they argued that WWE programming was something that had to be seen in “real time” and was “DVR proof”. Guess what? That is most certainly not the case in 2017. WWE has gone from must-see to very easy to miss. The question to be asked is why? There are a number of reasons.

*First and foremost, it’s the booking. WWE’s motto used to be, “Anything Can Happen”. Now it should be, “We All Know Exactly What WILL Happen”. This past weekend gave us perfect examples of what happens when they do things properly, and what happens when they don’t. On Friday, we got the UK special on the WWE Network. Given that they didn’t have much footage of the characters and no TV to build up the show, it’s amazing how well the company delivered. They showed us who the talents were, what they were all about and why we should care about them. Then, they booked a special show where the wrestlers took what was given to them and told stories in the ring. Saturday night we had the amazing NXT show, which was chock full of great characters, in strong storylines, who also told amazing stories in the ring. Then, Sunday came and Backlash pointed out everything that is wrong with the WWE brands right now. From a storyline perspective, the show was eh going in and it was even more so coming out. None of the storylines were close to being interesting and the fans realize that. And of the two shows since the brand split, Smackdown has been the more interesting one. That tells you all you need to know about the booking, just as WrestleMania did when they decided to make the show all about two older, part time guys. Then, when the Title changed hands, the one part time guy who didn’t go into retirement went into hiding…..with the most important thing on the Raw brand. Nothing tells people that they don’t need to watch the show quite like saying we won’t have our most important talent and Title for three months. And all of those hard working men and women who are still showing up every week to work? Well, WWE has just told the fans that all of them don’t matter as much as they should. That brings me to…

*The characters. WWE’s poor job of getting fans interested in the wrestlers as characters was on full display on Sunday night. We started with the debuting Shinsuke Nakamura being beaten down for 80 percent of the match by Dolph Ziggler, who while an amazing in-ring talent has been booked as a loser for months now. It seemed as if WWE was trying to make Nakamura, who has amazing charisma and connects with any audience he works in front of, look bad, not good. Then of course, we got a Tag Team Title match that saw one of the challengers dress up like a Janitor and a Grandma. Now, if this team were over, like say Edge and Christian? Maybe it would have worked. When they team has been booked as jobber fodder, as Breezango has been (and that shouldn’t have ever happened, but that goes back to the bad booking) it just comes off as being stupid. And then, we closed the night with Jinder Mahal beating Randy Orton for the WWE Title. Unlike many, I don’t have a problem with Mahal the wrestler. I think he is good and may be even much better, we won’t know until they let him cut loose. But the WWE wrestler that won the Title? This is a guy that had been booked as a jobber and got a lucky shot at the Title. Then, how did it go? Well, he got beaten up most of the match, had help from his sidekicks and still almost lost to a guy that only had one good arm. That didn’t make him look strong, not in the least. And when you compare and contrast the presentation from Saturday to Sunday, where guys who lost looked strong vs. guys who won looking weak, besides being very clear which show was superior and which event the fans were into, one thing stuck out between the two brands.

*One ignores logic and history while the other embraces it. In Vince McMahon’s mind, reality is what he says it is. Logic? Facts? They don’t matter to him. Unfortunately for WWE, they do matter to people. When fans see two former job acts suddenly going for Titles, they don’t drink Vince’s Kool Aid. Instead, they say, “Wait a damn minute!” In NXT, we saw people go from giving Tommaso Ciampa a standing ovation one minute, to hurling expletives on him the next after his brilliant turn on Johnny Gargano. And, these were the most hardcore fans, the hardest ones to work. Yet, they got so into the amazing story that DIY told during their tenure as a team and the match itself that they got caught up in the moment. That, my friends, is what makes wrestling the beautiful art form that it is. It’s also the thing that hardly ever happens anymore on Raw and Smackdown. And, it’s exactly why people are turning those shows off.

Now, WWE will tell you none of what I said matters. They will talk about the fact that they do so much business on social media, which is true. They will talk about the success of the WWE Network, which is also true. What they will ignore is the fact that television programming rights is still the leading revenue producer for the company, and by a significant margin. What they will also ignore is that all of the YouTube views that they get are fantastic, but they don’t monetize anywhere close to what their TV revenue from sources like USA pays them. And let’s be honest, the elephant in the room is that around this time two years from now, they will be looking for a new TV deal. Remember three years ago when Vince McMahon famously said he would at least double the rights fees on their new TV deal? Remember when that famously didn’t happen? Well, at that time they were doing in the four million viewers a week range. That was a long time ago.

I know it’s fashionable to bash Vince McMahon but I am not hear to do that. I respect everything that he has done. He is a legend, no doubt. He followed his gut and changed the business in his vision. Only a fool would argue against that. But now, he’s almost 72 years old. As a person ages, they lose touch with what younger people are into. It’s not a knock on him, it’s just a fact. It’s very clear that as the head of Creative, we are seeing his vision and fewer and fewer people are wanting to watch that vision.

Make no mistake about it, WWE is at a crossroads. Twenty years ago, they were in a similar position, as WCW was whipping the WWF handily. Of course, in 2017 it’s WWE of the past that is whipping today’s WWE. In November of that year, they booked the Montreal Screwjob and it was part of the genesis of the turnaround for the company. In 2017, with about two years to show potential TV suitors in a changing, cord cutting, cost slashing TV market, that they TV rights fees are worth paying for, it is time to drastically shake things up as well. The question is, will Vince McMahon put his ego aside and accept that “his way” has lost its way and it’s time to go outside of his comfort zone the way he did in the Attitude Era, or will go to the bargaining table with USA in two years with no leverage and possibly looking at a substantial cut in rights fees? I don’t have that answer."
 

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Premium Member
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Of course. Absolutely nothing to do with television ratings being in a decline for pretty much everything though, right? The Oscars have been on a steady TV ratings drop with this year's show being the lowest rated in 9 years. The NFL ratings were down all of the last season. I get that analyzing the WWE ratings makes for a great article topic, but I wish the wrestling news websites would highlight things like how streaming & cord-cutters have impacted ratings or investigating why viewership for 18 to 24 years olds drops across the board every year.
 

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I'd say I watch Raw 50% of the time live, while the other 50% is Youtube or Dailymotion. Smackdown is probably an even lower percentage for watching live.
 

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Lifting weights and eating steaks
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19,199 Posts
How hard is it to write down every superstars name on the roster. Split them into who belongs in the main event, who can be used as mid card carriers and those lower carders who will be used to put everyone else over, write out numerous stories and plots for each guy incase some people get injured or the crowd doesn't respond as well and just go with it?

Less 50/50 booking. Less repetitive matches on television and PPV matches that mean something. The likes of Mojo Rawley should be used to put mid carders and main eventers over and should rarely be seen on PPVs.

I know it's not the same but I did this on a WWE Video game using an Excel spreadsheet and alot of time. Hell, these writers and those in creative probably have alot more time than me.
 

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Of course. Absolutely nothing to do with television ratings being in a decline for pretty much everything though, right? The Oscars have been on a steady TV ratings drop with this year's show being the lowest rated in 9 years. The NFL ratings were down all of the last season. I get that analyzing the WWE ratings makes for a great article topic, but I wish the wrestling news websites would highlight things like how streaming & cord-cutters have impacted ratings or investigating why viewership for 18 to 24 years olds drops across the board every year.
Excuses excuses. The Big Bang, Walking Dead, Games of Thrones have great viewerships and ratings.
 

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Premium Member
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Excuses excuses. The Big Bang, Walking Dead, Games of Thrones have great viewerships and ratings.
Yeah, Big Bang Theory is still one of the highest viewed shows on TV, but they are dealing with the same ratings decline issues - even managing to hit a series low rating earlier this month. It's a TV in general issue, not just a WWE problem.
 

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I'll take you down the only road I've ever been do
The Icon That Can Still Go
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52,756 Posts
There are a number of shows out there that do great ratings, still. And even the ones that have lost part of their audience, haven't lost it to the tune of 20% from one year to the next.

Anyone who doesn't think this is an issue is in denial. Setting record lows practically every week isn't the norm, fellas.
 

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Banned
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Jinder Mahal winning the championship is a good example of "Anything can happen"

Anyway, there is no way USA drops WWE in 2019 unless they get really bad. Raw and SD are still their highest rated shows by far
 

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I'll take you down the only road I've ever been do
The Icon That Can Still Go
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52,756 Posts
What they will ignore is the fact that television programming rights is still the leading revenue producer for the company, and by a significant margin. What they will also ignore is that all of the YouTube views that they get are fantastic, but they don’t monetize anywhere close to what their TV revenue from sources like USA pays them. And let’s be honest, the elephant in the room is that around this time two years from now, they will be looking for a new TV deal. Remember three years ago when Vince McMahon famously said he would at least double the rights fees on their new TV deal? Remember when that famously didn’t happen? Well, at that time they were doing in the four million viewers a week range. That was a long time ago.
Says it all, really.
 

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The television revenue is the only reason they make a profit. When it's time to renegotiate thei deal they are fucked with these shitty ratings. Fanboys who think their favorite wrestlers are drawing because the WWE makes a lot of revenue due to their television deal make me laugh when ratings and house show numbers are appalling. Your favorite wrestlers are drawing shit.
 

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Banned
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here's why the 20% viewership left WWE

If we're going to issue blame on a sole source for the 20% drop in viewership, this is a better explanatory variable:



Vince needs to go, and unfortunately that will only realistically happen when he kicks the bucket. He's a senile, antiquated, volatile man at this point.

Need any more proof: Great Balls of Fire
 
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