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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

In the continuing story of the Jinder Mahal push and the business reasons behind it, WWE has said that when you include all forms of consumption of the WWE product, which would be television viewers, social media followers and YouTube clip viewers, that India is the No. 1 market, with the U.S. second and South Africa third.

The problem with that, as noted many times, is that consumption and money are two different things. If you strip away the television rights fees, where India is third behind the U.S. (which dominates) and the U.K., the company make very little money from India. And when it comes to YouTube, that category for WWE in the first quarter, digital, actually lost money.

But WWE has opened an office in India and is trying to garner more revenue from the market. If that’s the goal, Mahal as champion shouldn’t be a short-term thing. Making that goal work is a very different story.

The NBA and Yao Ming in China comparisons are obviously the goal. But even so, from those who live in India, WWE and pro wrestling were more popular a few years ago.

Those at Impact were told directly from Sony Six that the belief was that the big Mahal push was directly related to their tour this week. Whether accurate or not, the WWE’s U.K. timing and strategy changed significantly when, in a market WWE dominated, somebody else was coming in with strong television backing. Indeed, the lack of future tapings of the weekly U.K. television show after we were told about plans for monthly tapings and a weekly network show at the same time the ITV project imploded was noteworthy.

At this point, WWE has nothing on the schedule for India this year, although that could change.

Given that even if they do run some live shows, due to ticket prices having to be kept low because people in India rarely pay ticket money for sports events. Other than cricket, most sports run by selling sponsorships to local businesses and then letting people free into the events themselves. WWE on its rare tours did charge ticket money, and given the population and number of television viewers, the paid attendance was disappointing and really not worthwhile, which is why they’ve only done two tours in the last 15 years.

Even with all that consumption, India is not a strong market for the WWE Network. Some of that is because the key driver of the network, the PPV shows, air on regular television and are blacked out on the network, and that will continue to be the case at least through the end of 2019, due to its television contract with Ten Sports.

Plus, there is nothing culturally where people pay money for digital content in India. Like with problems New Japan is having culturally with New Japan World, there is no huge penetration of Netflix or the MLB network to “break people in” to that type of marketplace.

Another issue is that in India, bandwidths are pathetic and only the urban areas have access to good Internet and tons of people have no Internet at all.

WWE merchandise at this point was almost no penetration in the market. That is an area they are working on and that can improve.

There’s also the question of the social media numbers to begin with, since India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and The Philippines are notorious for fake social media numbers.

While Punjabi, the language Mahal talks on television is only spoken by 29 million people out of the 1.34 billion population, Hindi, the primary language is close enough to Punjabi that most in the country can understand his interviews. Dara Singh, the most famous Indian wrestler in history, was from Punjab and was a huge movie star in Bollywood during and after his wrestling career.
 

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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

So the market isn't making money, but since so many "customers" are there, they want to tap the potential. But what if none of them even want to spend money? If you went there and no one would buy a ticket, then WTF....I thought bread and butter was touring, like musicians who can tour once a year and basically be set to record a new album.

I mean don't they push a ton of merch by touring town to town? Like doing side shit where ever they go. I mean towns welcome them cause they draw thousands of dollars with them on the side in room and board, etc.

I get they want India market, but making Jinder champion is only to please those online. Doing what they did to UK is how you do it proper, and actually please the fans there. You don't put Title on Gallahger and say God Save the Queen and assume millions will pour in money and that wrestling would become bigger in UK, nah. Make an Indian Championship, and build from ground up, there is plenty of people there, and just let some jergoffs to run the whole show, and build it up as an umbrella owner. So technically the champion would be within WWE kind of like FCW, but not really a real champion, at least not it gets huge. That is what I'd do,
 

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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

Even if WWE becomes more popular they are not going to make tonnes of money in India. They watch everything on free television and they counterfeit merchandise. No one is paying $9.99 for the network because it is 650 INR which is almost a whole month's internet bill.

If WWE stops giving out PPVs on free tv and does a lesser price for the network in India they might make some money from the urban areas. But then they will lose a huge chunk from tv rights.

They can even become AE level popular but they are never going to make huge money there.
 
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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

The story of this thread is that South Africa is the third biggest market for the wwe. Expected the uk in that spot or even Australia ahead of South africa
 

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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

The reason why the WWE is so successful and why Vince turned the company into what it is today is because he took risks. That's what I see this as. He's a guy who isn't afraid to take risks. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn't. Only time will tell.
 

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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

I'n an Indian.
Network isn't going to become a thing in India.Because,internet data rates are so high.
As long as people get free pay per view on tensports(which is on cable) why pay more money?
Only downside for watching pay per view on tensports is that it isn't live.But,hey whose going to complain about not being live when you can watch pay per views free and there is no extra money needed for internet.
 

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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

I'n an Indian.
Network isn't going to become a thing in India.Because,internet data rates are so high.
As long as people get free pay per view on tensports(which is on cable) why pay more money?
Only downside for watching pay per view on tensports is that it isn't live.But,hey whose going to complain about not being live when you can watch pay per views free and there is no extra money needed for internet.
Have you lived in India your entire life? I'm curious to know what is the culture like there as far as how they view wrestling. I hear that Khali is treated like a huge celebrity (not just a wrestler). Mahal has said he's gotten offers before to appear in Bollywood movies.
 

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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

Comes down to cash, and Indian fans aren't bringing it in.

It's not like Mahal is actually main-eventing, anyway. They got the guy going on 4th on house show cards that have 8 matches.

Dat company faith!
 

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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

It's not like Mahal is actually main-eventing, anyway. They got the guy going on 4th on house show cards that have 8 matches.
and yet so many people here and all over the internet were sure that he and Randy wouldn't be main eventing at Backlash and they did, and most people thought the fans were going to chit all over it, which didn't happen.
Dat company faith!
It's not a matter of faith. They wouldn't have put the belt on him if they didn't have faith in him. Maybe they're just taking his reign as champion slow? It's not like house show booking means much of anything anyway. He obviously wasn't ready for this big of a push considering he's been working low or mid card style matches and promos his entire career. They're still trying things with him and grooming him into a main event level talent.
 

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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

WWE views India as its biggest market but sales are so low that they've only done two tours in the past 15 years?. WWE knows the sales aren't there in India even when they had Khali, so how will that change with Jinder? If bandwidth overall sucks then how is the WWE Network going to be a success there?.

This is a terrible strategy if the quote is accurate. Social Media Followers, YouTube Clips help a bit, but long term it's about the television product, house shows, merchandise, ppv sales....and if they can get the ppv and television shows for free in India then wtf is the point?

It's like McDonald's opening up in the middle of Kashmir and offering free Beef, but promise to hire local.
 

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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

I am from India and lived here all my life. Here is the thing.

Indians are not going to spend a lot of money for any form entertainment other than cinema and cricket. Those two are mainstream and only those two. It is very common for people to watch newly released movies on pirated dvds and even cricket is always on free tv. Now imagine who will be willing to pay to watch wrestling.

No adult takes wrestling serious as far as I know. But a lot of them enjoy watching it and they appreciate their physical ability. In rural areas a lot of people still believe wrestling is real because they don't have the exposure that we do. They are mostly the ones you see on facebook with hilarious comments. But wrestling is commonly viewed as kids stuff.

Khali was somewhat famous but not nearly as famous as the movie stars. Hell even Roman is more popular than Khali ever was. That is because Indians usually worship the heroes. Bollywood produces nearly 300 films a year and getting a role in one of them is not a big deal at all.

Bottom line, tv rights is the only source WWE make considerable amount of money. And this situation isn't changing. Urban areas have good internet but no one is paying 650 INR for the network. If they do a better deal in India they might get some subs in the urban areas but that wouldn't make much difference.
 

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As someone who's been to India many times and knows a fair few people out there here's my take. It's all about cold hard cash and WWE ain't gonna get much from the Indian paying public. Streaming services like the network won't be accessible to your average fan because internet services aren't widely available as the norm in the western world. Also would your average working Indian pay $9.99 for something they don't really need? I don't think so.

Merchandise? Nope. They'd be tonnes of replicas but no kid is gonna buy official merch.
Ticket sales for events? They'd have to heavily utilise that sponsorship ticket scheme or have ridiculously low entry fees to even get people interested. Also the demographic they're aiming for is kids to teens. Unless from a fairly wealthy family teens do not have disposable income in India. In all truth Roman Reigns and John Cena are probably 10x more popular than Jinder Mahal. There's two things in India, cricket and Bollywood. Khali got exposure and became recognised because he's been in a few Bollywood movies. Is he a 'draw' to say people watch movies because he's in it? Lol nope. Forget all the trolling you see on facebook comments people in India know the deal, just like in U.K, US most adults think wrestling is fake and stupid. Good luck to WWE but as for making money, India will be a tough market to crack
 

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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

Vince has a boner for the size of the market, and he's just ignoring the realities and hoping it all turns into money somehow. It probably will not.
 

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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

I don't think people should perceive this as an attempt to get immediate cash from the short-term. I'd view it as WWE are trying to get a foothold into a market that COULD change in how they pay for media. They are lining up a TV renewal deal in the future when it ends in 2019.

It's very important to realise that companies think in different ways. You may encounter a company that thinks short-term and assume that most companies think short term. You may encounter that WWE approach a region with the attempt to get short-term gains from it (this would be the United Kingdom). You cannot put the UK (which is a short term project) into the same context as markets like China (where they will pay a lot of money for media) and India (where they won't pay a lot of money for media), which are both long-term markets.

Once you adjust for short and long term, then you can analyze what the WWE are attempting here. If WWE cannot get money out of India by 2020, it is likely they will abandon the project. Don't look for immediate gratification from expansion projects. India and China will be long term and about setting up enough exposure to break barriers and extrapolate money from the countries.
 

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Have you lived in India your entire life? I'm curious to know what is the culture like there as far as how they view wrestling. I hear that Khali is treated like a huge celebrity (not just a wrestler). Mahal has said he's gotten offers before to appear in Bollywood movies.
Bullshit.Khali has only been in like one advertisement of a cement manufacturer.He might have had some cameos in D grade movies.
Wrestling is viewed as fake and if you are children it is seen as violent and often forbidden to watch so that they don't imitate the moves & if you are adult you are made fun of.Ofcourse there might be some exceptions.
If you want sellout in India,you don't need to thrust up a jobber to main event.Just send Cena and Orton and watch the arena get sold out.
 

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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

Even if WWE becomes more popular they are not going to make tonnes of money in India. They watch everything on free television and they counterfeit merchandise. No one is paying $9.99 for the network because it is 650 INR which is almost a whole month's internet bill.

If WWE stops giving out PPVs on free tv and does a lesser price for the network in India they might make some money from the urban areas. But then they will lose a huge chunk from tv rights.

They can even become AE level popular but they are never going to make huge money there.
There is no free TV in India. It is all paid. You have to pay for cable & channels. The merchandise thing is going to catch on & it will be massive - Because it is cheap, WWE have got some deal done with Souled store & they are selling cheap T-shirts for 7-8$ when you convert to Indian money. And it is like Amazon, they deliver to your home so it can cover everything.

Live TV events won't be a big money maker but it has to looked as small long term investments where people go & make contacts with various other form on investment, visit the community & so on. Ultimately it is a market of 1B people growing in purchasing power with a large English speaking population (unlike China). You make investments & plans considering the next 3 or 5 or 7 years to have some long term strategic view.

I don't see the Network working due to large rural areas with poor internet connectivity, speed plus cost while most people even in remote places have a TV & cable connection. So WWE had to milk the TV deal, go big on merchandise & try to have a long term focus !
 

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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

There is no free TV in India. It is all paid. You have to pay for cable & channels. The merchandise thing is going to catch on & it will be massive - Because it is cheap, WWE have got some deal done with Souled store & they are selling cheap T-shirts for 7-8$ when you convert to Indian money. And it is like Amazon, they deliver to your home so it can cover everything.

Live TV events won't be a big money maker but it has to looked as small long term investments where people go & make contacts with various other form on investment, visit the community & so on. Ultimately it is a market of 1B people growing in purchasing power with a large English speaking population (unlike China). You make investments & plans considering the next 3 or 5 or 7 years to have some long term strategic view.

I don't see the Network working due to large rural areas with poor internet connectivity, speed plus cost while most people even in remote places have a TV & cable connection. So WWE had to milk the TV deal, go big on merchandise & try to have a long term focus !
Ten sports is a pay channel and WWE programs get highest viewership for them. But they charge as low as ₹ 5/ month to a max of ₹ 60/ month for HD. And ₹ 65 is $ 1, big money right? And no, it is not all paid. They broadcast all the channels for free in rural areas, though illegal no one is questioning them. WWE won’t be making big money from merchandise. Indians counterfeit them and only a very few is paying ₹ 500 to buy it from amazon.

Believe me, Jinder isn’t going make any big difference. Even Roman is and will always be a bigger name than him or Khali in India. And Khali is a man who destroyed Taker in his early days. That is just because Jinder isn’t the type of guy they like. They are towards supermans like Cena, Roman, etc.

WWE is popular here and it is the second most viewed sports program on TV next only to cricket when India plays. It is a market of 1 billion people. But TV rights is the only major source of revenue, not merchandise or live events or network. If they become more popular (which will certainly not happen because of Jinder) they make more money from TV rights and nothing considerably more.
 

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Re: WWE statement on Jinder Mahal push and analysis

So vince ruined the titles credibility by putting someone whos undeserving and tottaly sucks as champion and its not going to move the needle? Lmao.

Just wait 3 years when he pushes a green, terrible 150 lb chinese wrestler because of his home market potential.
 
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