Questions on Ratings and Social Media

Scott,


A couple questions on WWE and its media outreach:

1. Even if WWE would miraculously change course and do everything to creative perfection with the new brand extension, isn’t there a limit on what you could expect to happen to ratings in relation to the increased cost to do Smackdown as a live show weekly? Although you could potentially get a small bump in the SD ratings, we will never see Attitude Era/Monday Night War ratings again. It’s a totally different landscape with the variety of competing options on cable and other platforms (Netflix, Hulu) that exist today; and barring the next Austin-level star coming to the forefront, it is doubtful they could have a sustainable significant bump in ratings.

2. Given the fascination that the WWE has with Twitter, why do you think that they have such a disconnect with guys like Ziggler or Ryder who have a much bigger social media footprint than their push would explain? The biggest stars of the last 30 years have been created when someone created enough cross-cultural buzz to draw in the casual fan or new fans, and guys who seem to have a knack of drawing attention to themselves would seem like a good place to start to look for new stars.

​1. Yeah, it’s a really flawed theory behind the move, no doubt. Plus moving a show to another night almost always takes a big chunk out of the audience to start, even if it’s moving to a supposed better night. ​As Dave said on the radio show yesterday, what is happening is that USA is struggling to stay afloat, and wrestling is the one thing drawing ratings for them. So what TV companies do, just like with reality TV or game shows or every other concept that gets hot for a bit, is they’re gonna expand coverage of that genre until the market hits the oversaturation point (if it hasn’t already!) because that’s all they’ve got. Unfortunately Vince is mostly just a pawn here.

2. They’re fascinated with Twitter as long as it’s the version of Twitter that they control and they create the content for. If it’s anyone else’s version, they just ignore it. Like everything else.