Hogan/ NBA playoffs

Good morning Scott 

From your observer review 

In fact, in a rare case where Hogan did not have amazing timing for once, he left the company to make a movie just as NBA playoffs would normally tank ratings so he could return triumphantly in the summer, but the two hour expansion in fact increased ratings dramatically without Hulk.

If meltzer can put 2 and 2 together on this one.  Did anyone at WCW realize this as well?  Was it a “worst kept secret?”   Or “because WCW” 
It was that Hogan was being paid a giant contract that needed to be justified.