WWE Ad Rates

Hi Scott.


Can you help explain something to me? Basically that wwe gets 1/10th the normal ad rate for a show

https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/4jubt6/meltzer_wwe_ad_rates_are_17th_that_of_ufc_fight/

So whats the point of wwe just to inflate "numbers" so USA can say they average this many viewers a week? wouldnt ad buyers look into this and realize its a crooked number?

lets say raw gets 3.5 million viewers for 3 hours that means a random show only needs 350k viewers at regular rate to match the money?

would it cost USA less in the grand scheme of things to make a new show or buy syndication shows to fill up that time vs paying the rights fees and production budget of raw?

I’m not saying wwe is screwed or that USA is stupid I’m just looking for a bit of explanation of how/why this works for USA. is there a number of viewers where it just doesnt work for USA? 2.5mil?, 1 mil?

thanks

​WWE doesn’t make money off ads, so as far as they’re concerned they don’t care about rates on USA. The reason that their programming commands such a relatively high price from USA is for a couple of reasons:

1) Live programming, in particular sporting events, are considered "DVR-proof", and thus anything that falls into that general category is considered more desirable as far as selling ad space than something where people can record it and skip commercials.

2) RAW is highly-rated enough to where it actually raises the average rating for the entire network​ and keeps USA in the top 10 cable channels. So basically as long as RAW is well above the closest other show on USA, they’re bulletproof.

Now that being said, if they keep dropping at the rate they are, they’ll become far less valuable to USA, but no one knows what that rock bottom number is yet. They’re flirting with some very dangerous numbers at the moment, but as far as we know the costs of producing and distributing RAW (which are actually shockingly low compared to a normal production due to Vince’s genius and very low overhead) are still far less than trying to gamble on a new scripted show.