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The Ratings thread

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,166 ✭✭✭Stereomaniac


    How much of a worry do ratings really need to be for Vince McMahon these days? It seems constant.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,013 Mod ✭✭✭✭jaykhunter


    How much of a worry do ratings really need to be for Vince McMahon these days? It seems constant.

    Exactly. WWE JUST renegotiated their TV deal, they get the same money if they get a 2.0 or a 4.0. They need to concentrate on the money, which is WWE Network subs, and that's coming up roses. No need to blow your wad with big names in the down period. Now's the time to make new stars. Push new talent so that you don't have to go running to fair-weather part-timers come WrestleMania :(


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,216 ✭✭✭Ageyev


    How much of a worry do ratings really need to be for Vince McMahon these days? It seems constant.

    Dave Meltzer&Alvarez still covering WWE like it's 1998. As Jay says, they've got a deal. Ratings falling in Autumn-Winter is nothing new.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,846 ✭✭✭Moneymaker


    jaykhunter wrote: »
    Exactly. WWE JUST renegotiated their TV deal, they get the same money if they get a 2.0 or a 4.0. They need to concentrate on the money, which is WWE Network subs, and that's coming up roses. No need to blow your wad with big names in the down period. Now's the time to make new stars. Push new talent so that you don't have to go running to fair-weather part-timers come WrestleMania :(

    That's exactly what they're not doing though. It's still the John Cena show, Big Show is still pushed over younger guys and god bless Kane I love the guy, but he's in the main event feud right now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,166 ✭✭✭Stereomaniac


    They're never going to get cancelled, and if they do, they'll get another deal. It just seems stupid.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 415 ✭✭Alexis Sanchez


    How much of a worry do ratings really need to be for Vince McMahon these days? It seems constant.

    If the ratings are low, they stand to lose money from advertisers. They make more money from advertisers now that they've downgraded their show from TV-14 to PG.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,166 ✭✭✭Stereomaniac


    The network takes the money from advertising as far as I know, I might be wrong. I thought that their money was a given from the network with each contract they sign nowadays.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭Chain Smoker


    WWE don't have to care too much about ratings right now, but this year they seem to be consistently down about 10% from last year. Wrestling ratings are quite largely driven by people who watch out of routine so it's going to be hard enough to get some of that 10% back. While that doesn't make a huge difference now, it does when they're contract is running out in a few years.
    Also, WWE's main selling point to USA (who were the only people interested in them there 18 months ago) is how their absurdly high ratings help USA keep the throne of being the biggest cable station in the US. They need to be averaging 2.8s and 2.9s, they've barely cracked over that at all this year from what I can recall.



    Keller generally gauges ratings a lot better than Meltzer and Alvarez, more of a focus on trends in comparison to other years, looks at how things from previous weeks may have impacted this week, an awareness of non sporting events which may be taking away from the ratings.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,991 ✭✭✭✭Rjd2


    Ageyev wrote: »
    Dave Meltzer&Alvarez still covering WWE like it's 1998. As Jay says, they've got a deal. Ratings falling in Autumn-Winter is nothing new.

    Its a different landscape but compare to the ratings to say last year or the year before hand and the drop in viewers is scary. Of course they are reasons, nfl,streaming etc, but those alternatives have not just sprung up this year, they have been their for a long time now.

    Their is numerous reasons for the numbers to be falling, length of the show, **** all star power and wrestling is cold right now.

    I dunno, I like Seth lots, but maybe like HBK this dude can't draw as champion? Oh and yeah the guys that are always at the top of the card like Kane, Show, Sheamus and Orton are all stale as ****.

    They need to create some draws in the next few years because Cena can't wrestle forever and only so many times you can bring back the old timers.

    They do need to stop the slide sooner rather than later because they rely so much on tv money.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,929 ✭✭✭Monokne


    From late August - September last year they were averaging right around 4.1 million viewers. For the same period this year they are on course to average about 3.4 million viewers. If anyone in this thread really thinks that losing SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND VIEWERS in 12 months, TWENTY FIVE PERCENT of their audience is not a big deal, I really do not know what to tell you.

    USA Network is performing very weakly now as evidenced by Smackdown moving to USA in January, so WWE is safe for now. My hunch is that with streaming services providing stiffer competition for TV, even if their ratings continue to dwindle they may not lose anything in rights fees when their deal is due as 3 million people for 3 hours is still great for a networks weekly average.

    But the key to all this is that not only is their own fanbase very rapidly declining, there are no new fans being made. House show attendance is down right now and you best believe that as less people engage with the tv product, that trend will continue. Less viewers will probably mean less merch sold, less network orders, less website revenue etc etc.

    Don't kid yourselves that losing a quarter of your fanbase in a year is not an absolute disaster. It is.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭Chain Smoker


    It should be noted that that patch last year (Summerslam and Night of Champions) had the WWE using up matches #2 and #3 between Cena and Lesnar since his return, probably the biggest header you could have put on whenever (Rock and Taker are the only others who might even contend). Realistically that should've made last year perform significantly better than previous years but instead it only held its ground.

    The product is pretty damn bad right now but I think this level of drop is almost entirely attributable to people not being able to deal with 3 hours. It was an extremely bad move to have done, even if they wanted the money they should've held off to use it as a bargaining chip during contract negotiations instead of leaping at it when offered to patch up revenue for a bad quarter or two.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,166 ✭✭✭Stereomaniac


    I think 3 hour shows are well and truly here to stay. It seems like that's what people blame the poor product on over and over. Well they put on 3 hour pay per views every month that consistently impress me as a viewer and many others as well I'm sure. The way in which people consume television is changing, and has been for a good few years now. Even if WWE pull out all the stops on their weekly live shows, they probably aren't going to see that much of an increase in viewership. That lost 25% watch in other ways probably.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,096 ✭✭✭✭the groutch


    the internet didn't just suddenly invent itself in the last 12 months.
    to suggest any significant portion of those 700k have suddenly started watching by other methods is laughable.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭Chain Smoker


    If WWE find themselves in a position 3.5 years from now where they've lost a huge chunk of their TV audience, they're gonna be taking a significant cut on their TV revenue in the next deal because the audience they bring in is absolutely worthless to advertisers. They are nowhere near to being in a position where they don't need the television revenue and exposure.

    You're right about pulling out all the stops though, it's not going to effect viewership much. It just gets lost in the endless recaps it'll have over the 3 hours. Even if you're extremely consistent with it, you just wind up with situations where they effectively train the audience which segments are going to mean anything (top of each hour and the overrun).



    To be clear though, I wasn't blaming three hour raws for the product sucking right now, I was saying the product sucking is probably a lot less directly related to ratings than most people would like to believe.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,753 ✭✭✭✭beakerjoe


    Theres a great article on VOW about TV viewership by Brandon Howard

    http://www.voicesofwrestling.com/2015/09/08/tv-viewership-wwe-roh-tna-lucha-underground-njpw-on-axs/

    Have a read.

    Theres lots of reasons why TV ratings are down. Piracy, availability, content, advances in alternatives. Ratings on USA Network are have declined but even though WWE hasnt declined as much as other shows. The way viewers are measured isnt a great indicator of how many people actually watch the product and theres no real way of measuring how many people actually watch Raw each week.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,166 ✭✭✭Stereomaniac


    What I think a lot of people seem to forget is that at the end of the day, we're grown men watching a television programme that's aimed at children. The product isn't always going to have things that we think are great because we aren't the target audience like we once were. The best way to protest against this is by turning off the television and cancelling the network subscriptions. Somehow I don't think many of us are going to be doing that though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,929 ✭✭✭Monokne


    If WWE find themselves in a position 3.5 years from now where they've lost a huge chunk of their TV audience, they're gonna be taking a significant cut on their TV revenue in the next deal because the audience they bring in is absolutely worthless to advertisers.

    I completely understand your thinking but this is by no means guaranteed. Consider two key factors:

    1) WWE Ratings have been on a steady decline for a decade. In spite of this, each TV deal they have signed since 2005 has been a significant increase on the last one.

    2) Their value to the networks depends more on the state of the network than their own ratings. This is best evidenced by Smackdown's move to USA. USA has been reluctant to allow wrestling on any night other than Monday historically. There battle plan was always to use RAW to boost their average number and maintain their spot as the no. 1 station in cable. While ads for Raw don't sell well, being no. 1 in cable is extremely valuable when pitching to advertisers. Smackdown being moved to USA is indicative of the networks struggle for ratings overall, as was the disastrous Tough Enough reboot. Perversely then, WWE is now of more value to USA than it was with higher ratings 18 months ago.

    The key is where cable TV is when the deal is due. If, as may well be the case, more and more non-live programming is being consumed on demand while Raw is one of a dwindling number of TV shows that can still pull in 2.5 million viewers+ each week, they will be in a much stronger position. If ratings across the board stop declining and Raw continues to tank, maybe they will be in trouble.

    Anyway you slice it, declining popularity is bad but when you are looking at TV income, it's a fluid situation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,753 ✭✭✭✭beakerjoe


    Monokne wrote: »
    I completely understand your thinking but this is by no means guaranteed. Consider two key factors:

    1) WWE Ratings have been on a steady decline for a decade. In spite of this, each TV deal they have signed since 2005 has been a significant increase on the last one.

    2) Their value to the networks depends more on the state of the network than their own ratings. This is best evidenced by Smackdown's move to USA. USA has been reluctant to allow wrestling on any night other than Monday historically. There battle plan was always to use RAW to boost their average number and maintain their spot as the no. 1 station in cable. While ads for Raw don't sell well, being no. 1 in cable is extremely valuable when pitching to advertisers. Smackdown being moved to USA is indicative of the networks struggle for ratings overall, as was the disastrous Tough Enough reboot. Perversely then, WWE is now of more value to USA than it was with higher ratings 18 months ago.

    The key is where cable TV is when the deal is due. If, as may well be the case, more and more non-live programming is being consumed on demand while Raw is one of a dwindling number of TV shows that can still pull in 2.5 million viewers+ each week, they will be in a much stronger position. If ratings across the board stop declining and Raw continues to tank, maybe they will be in trouble.

    Anyway you slice it, declining popularity is bad but when you are looking at TV income, it's a fluid situation.


    Falling ratings dont necessarily mean a decline in popularity though. It just means people arent tuning in on US. People using DVRs, Video recorders, Hulu, torrents, streaming sites arent taken into account. People just arent watching Live like they used to.

    But I do think the content has played apart but some analysts reckon WWE has risen in popularity despite declining ratings.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,929 ✭✭✭Monokne


    beakerjoe wrote: »
    Falling ratings dont necessarily mean a decline in popularity though. It just means people arent tuning in on US. People using DVRs, Video recorders, Hulu, torrents, streaming sites arent taken into account. People just arent watching Live like they used to.

    But I do think the content has played apart but some analysts reckon WWE has risen in popularity despite declining ratings.

    I mean no disrespect but I just don't think you can say with a straight face that one quarter of the TV audience disappearing isn't indicative of a huge drop in interest in the product. DVR number's are marginally up, but it's from 3 - 6% to 7 - 10% last I read. 700,000 homes are not watching on Hulu that were not watching a year ago, else we'd be hearing that WWE is expecting to earn huge figures from the Hulu deal going forward. Torrents & streaming sites do such miniscule number they aren't worth discussing in the bigger picture.

    You could absolutely stretch the point and argue 50,000 more are watching on Hulu and another 50,000 between XWT & Youtube but you're still coming up 600,000 short.

    The 3.25 hours kills. I could not sit through that show. I don't know how anyone can. I watch the whole thing in maybe 80 minutes max and I'm worn out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,834 ✭✭✭Pentecost


    I haven't watched a full Raw more than twice since it went to three hours. It's just too long and if you're watching it live the bloody ad breaks will kill you. At least with a three hour PPV there's no ad breaks and it's mostly matches.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,301 ✭✭✭✭gerrybbadd


    I haven't watched a Raw or Smackdown in about 18 months!


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,689 ✭✭✭sky88


    gerrybbadd wrote: »
    I haven't watched a Raw or Smackdown in about 18 months!

    at this stage i just watch the top 10 thats on wwe.com and if theres something i like on it ill search for the full segment or match then watch it


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,753 ✭✭✭✭beakerjoe


    Monokne wrote: »

    The 3.25 hours kills. I could not sit through that show. I don't know how anyone can. I watch the whole thing in maybe 80 minutes max and I'm worn out.

    Oh theres loads of possible reason why ratings are down, one also being Services like Netflix are making people cut the cord with cable TV altogether, which has affected tv ratings across the board.

    The flow of the show is one thing that puts me off, the constant ads make it a chore to follow. Id rather XWT.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,850 Mod ✭✭✭✭Insect Overlord


    Monokne wrote: »
    From late August - September last year they were averaging right around 4.1 million viewers. For the same period this year they are on course to average about 3.4 million viewers. If anyone in this thread really thinks that losing SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND VIEWERS in 12 months, TWENTY FIVE PERCENT of their audience is not a big deal, I really do not know what to tell you.

    Sorry to be pedantic, but 700k out of 4.1 million is not 25%. It's closer to 17%.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,166 ✭✭✭Stereomaniac


    WWE are doing fine once they continue to grow the Network I think. It's not the 1990s anymore.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,585 ✭✭✭Jerichoholic


    It couldn't possibly be the Authority and the over pushed Diva garbage could it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,753 ✭✭✭✭beakerjoe


    WWE are doing fine once they continue to grow the Network I think. It's not the 1990s anymore.

    The Network depends on Raws presence on worldwide television to advertise its product. The less people who watch WWE tv on USA, the smaller the chances of reaching new Network subscribers


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,753 ✭✭✭✭beakerjoe


    It couldn't possibly be the Authority and the over pushed Diva garbage could it?

    Triple H and Steph always seem to do strong numbers when featured on segments.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,804 ✭✭✭A Brad Maddox Guy


    beakerjoe wrote: »
    The flow of the show is one thing that puts me off, the constant ads make it a chore to follow.

    This essentially. Not only the ads but the predictability surrounding them. I watch on Sky+ & sit through the show's opening which is usually a long promo. Then it's a break. After the break is either a short segment backstage or a recap of what I literally just watched. Then we're on to the first match & about 5 minutes in somebody falls to the outside, Cole changes the tone of his voice & we go to another break. A lot of the time nothing of consequence happens in those 8-10 mins & it is easily skippable. So someone watching live has very little reason to stick around for that & when you include the two ad breaks that's about 16-18 mins of completely missable programming.

    This exact pattern happens multiple times throughout the 3 hours & the result is a high potential for channel hopping (ironic considering it's the channel hoppers that all of the recaps are targeted towards), or in my case fast forwarding. So it's no wonder ratings are suffering. I really enjoyed the longer matches when RAW first made the move to 3 hours but honestly now I just think that the 1st segment of 2 segment matches is pointless filler that deflates my enjoyment of the show when very little worth noting happens in between two ad breaks. If I didn't have Sky Sports with Plus I don't think I'd bother watching RAW anymore despite still enjoying some of it because the show really can feel like a chore.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,991 ✭✭✭✭Rjd2


    Monokne wrote: »
    I mean no disrespect but I just don't think you can say with a straight face that one quarter of the TV audience disappearing isn't indicative of a huge drop in interest in the product. DVR number's are marginally up, but it's from 3 - 6% to 7 - 10% last I read. 700,000 homes are not watching on Hulu that were not watching a year ago, else we'd be hearing that WWE is expecting to earn huge figures from the Hulu deal going forward. Torrents & streaming sites do such miniscule number they aren't worth discussing in the bigger picture.

    You could absolutely stretch the point and argue 50,000 more are watching on Hulu and another 50,000 between XWT & Youtube but you're still coming up 600,000 short.

    The 3.25 hours kills. I could not sit through that show. I don't know how anyone can. I watch the whole thing in maybe 80 minutes max and I'm worn out.
    Agreed, all these alternatives have been around a long time now, so don't think its fair to consistently use them as an excuse. The 3 hour move was absurd and its understandable on reflection why Vince fought so long against it. They may have had a chance back in the attitude era when they had much more star power, but now? Only Cena is a proven draw of the current roster.

    3 hours is simply to long for most people, most other forms of entertainment non sporting wise are about 2 hours long, movies etc, so if you want someone to focus on a 3 hour show, you have to be nailing it every week and can't afford filler which is just not possible with this current roster and writing staff. It won't go bust anytime soon, but losing viewers alarmingly for their core product is very concerning. The network is important but its still not a proven long term solution and money maker, heck why do they keep giving it away for free? :o

    Anyway decent article below.


    http://www.forbes.com/sites/blakeoestriecher/2015/09/08/wwe-raw-and-smackdown-ratings-slumps-put-more-pressure-on-the-wwe-network/
    Monday Night Raw and Thursday Night SmackDown are supposed to be the cornerstones of WWE programming, but things aren’t exactly going as planned.

    Despite having one of its most talented rosters ever, one that features everyone from former independent wrestling studs to household names like John Cena, the WWE simply isn’t attracting the amount of viewers that it once did. In fact, ratings for both Raw and SmackDown are in a downward spiral and have been for so long that anyone in WWE who isn’t concerned must be kidding themselves.

    According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc), ratings for July episodes of Raw on the USA Network have plummeted since 2012.

    WWE RAW averaged a 2.66 rating with 3.67 million viewers in July 2015. This is down 11% in ratings and 15% in viewership from July 2014, which averaged a 2.99 rating with 4.32 million viewers. July 2013 averaged a 2.97 rating with 4.00 million viewers while July 2012 averaged a 3.35 rating with 4.91 million viewers. RAW viewers per home for July 2015 were 1.44, down from 1.49 per home in 2014 and 1.37 per home in 2013.

    Unfortunately for the WWE, the same is also true of SyFy’s SmackDown:

    WWE SmackDown averaged a 1.70 rating with 2.32 million viewers for July 2015, down 4% in ratings and 8% in viewership from July 2014, even though the show was on Friday nights and one of the episodes fell on July 4th. Excluding that holiday episode, the ratings are down 11% at a 1.91 average and the viewership is down 15% from July 2014 with a 2.72 million average. SmackDown averaged a 1.79 rating with 2.41 million viewers in 2013 and a 1.92 rating with 2.78 million viewers in 2012. SmackDown averaged 1.46 viewers per home in July of this year.

    Though these numbers focus exclusively on the month of July, they certainly indicate a much bigger problem. What they tell us is that, during July 2015, roughly 1.24 million fewer people, on average, tuned into Raw than in July 2012. Meanwhile, SmackDown—which just recorded its lowest rating ever for a non-holiday episode on SyFy—has lost approximately 460,000 weekly viewers during that same span.

    It doesn’t take a mathematician to see the pictures that these numbers paint: Professional wrestling isn’t as popular as it once was.

    Even those at the USA Network, the home for Raw from 1993-2000 and 2005-present, are realizing that pro wrestling’s popularity isn’t what it used to be, thanks to the nearly unwatchable reboot of Tough Enough from earlier this year.

    According to The Wrestling Observer, sources at the USA Network indicate that officials there believe pro wrestling’s popularity is cycling downward, which is indicated by the decline in ratings.

    Wrestling tends to be a cyclical business, going round and round from lows to highs, but the disturbing plunge in ratings of the WWE’s two biggest shows highlights just how much the average fan’s interest in pro wrestling—and specifically, the WWE—has waned in recent years.

    Perhaps more importantly, though, it puts even more pressure on the WWE Network. Now, the Network has to succeed. Absolutely has to.

    That’s because Raw and SmackDown don’t have the stable futures that WWE wants them to have. Anyone who follows all of the major pro wrestling companies has seen that pro wrestling as a whole is struggling to keep pace with other forms of sports and entertainment, as indicated by the failures of TNA.

    TNA Wrestling, the closest thing to “competition” that WWE has had since WCW, has had a disastrous stretch over the last couple of years. After losing its spot on Spike TV, TNA moved to Destination America earlier this year, and there are already all sorts of indications that Destination America will drop TNA soon, too.

    Could the WWE suffer a similar fate? If officials at the USA Network truly believe that pro wrestling’s popularity is “cycling downward,” then the answer is a resounding “yes.”

    Tough Enough couldn’t even draw a million viewers for some episodes, and it likely won’t be back—at least not on TV—as a result. After a strong start, Total Divas on E! has struggled in the ratings department in recent seasons as well, and of course, Raw and SmackDown don’t seem to have any shot of turning things around until perhaps when SmackDown moves to the USA Network in 2016.

    But unlike TNA, the WWE has something to fall back on. It’s the aforementioned WWE Network.

    The WWE Network announced that it had more than 1.1 million subscribers (averaging more than 1.2 million) at its second quarter earnings report earlier this year, an impressive number that is higher than its Tough Enough viewership and likely would be even higher if multiple Network users didn’t share one account like many are (probably) doing.

    As the WWE Network continues to deliver more entertaining original programming—like The Stone Cold Podcast, the NXT specials and pay-per-views— as well as historical footage, the viewers will continue to tune in and give the WWE a fallback option in the event that Raw and/or SmackDown gets the ax if and when the USA Network has had enough. However unlikely that may be, though, the pressure is mounting on the WWE to build up the WWE Network at a time when its flagship shows are falling down.

    This isn’t something that is going to be impossible, either.

    When the WWE Network features any type of programming that is must-see, fans are going to shell out $9.99 in order to tune in. It happened just earlier this year when the Network subscriber count topped 1.3 million subscribers right after its biggest pay-per-view of the year, WrestleMania 31.

    WrestleMania is almost always a very entertaining show, and its success in attracting WWE Network viewers proves that the more must-see a show is, the more anticipated it will be. The more anticipated a show is, the more viewers will watch.

    Those within the WWE have to realize that it’s now more important than ever for the WWE Network to feature shows that are highly anticipated and, as a result, highly watched—like WrestleMania was and like Raw and SmackDown haven’t been.

    That way, the WWE will know that even if Raw and SmackDown continue down this slippery slope, the WWE Network will be there to save the day and one day provide the WWE with a one-stop shop for all of its programming.


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