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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by bigpig, Aug 21, 2016.
That's an insult to my beloved WCW 2000.
Not their target audience. No in one our age group seems to watch wwe anymore and they just living on the die hards, old people and kids.
Yeah Raw's target audience is now 50 years old.
I'm not there yet.
I'm close and watched long enough to see this eye gouge thing again and
They're now being counter programmed too
Long story but WWE finally called out by an investment analysis firm
Lightshed Partners, a top technology, media and telecommunications research firm based in New York City, released a deep analysis on the WWE stock yesterday, citing their belief that unless WWE turns their television ratings around, the company will not be able to maintain the level of rights fees they currently receive from NBC Universal and FOX.
Noting that WWE has “dealt well with the pandemic, managing costs down while fulfilling contractual content obligations,” Lightshed noted that they believed the Raw and Smackdown ratings in June might have been a “ratings bottom" but it has gotten worse since then. A big piece of blame was pointed at WWE Creative and Lightshed’s analysis specifically pointed to the “ousting of Paul Heyman” from his position of Executive Director of Raw as an issue. The analysis points out that WWE’s ratings have declined despite the money being brought in by their current deals and with that pressure, the “margin of error” for the company is smaller than ever. It noted that COVID-19 has impacted ratings for professional wrestling, but both WWE NXT and All Elite Wrestling’s numbers have been up while Raw (10%) and Smackdown (8%) are down from last month and down 15% from April 2020 with Raw hitting all time low ratings multiple times this summer.
On where the blame falls, the analysis notes, “COVID or no COVID, creative appears to be at the center of the issues. Vince McMahon has acknowledged things need to change multiple times. However, while there have been short lived experiments, the content appears to continuously return to a similar formula under his absolute control. McMahon went so far as to hire creative heads for Raw and SmackDown a year ago, with Paul Heyman heading Raw and Eric Bischoff heading SmackDown. Neither are in their roles a year later. Bischoff was fired after four months on the job and Heyman was relieved last month. The role is now consolidated under Bruce Prichard.”
They also stated that one of WWE’s “largest problems” is an “inability to create new Superstars”, noting that WWE has always been defined by its top stars but recent years have not had that star power, noting Roman Reigns has been closest but hasn’t hit on the same level as talents from eras before.
Lightshed noted, “More broadly, there really has been very little younger talent that have broken through at all on their way to replenishing even the middle level of stars in the men’s division. This has made the company more susceptible to injuries / absentees of major stars. Much of the talent with drawing power is aging. And, the big draws for major events have been in bringing back even older wrestlers such as Goldberg and The Undertaker. That is a band-aid, not a long-term strategy.”
The analysis noted that Vince McMahon addressed the Raw issues but then seven weeks later, Paul Heyman was moved from power. Noting that “the strategy with Heyman was to work towards building this talent, even if it took time” but since Heyman’s departure “Raw’s focus has again shifted more heavily to much more established stars. It has not worked; as we mentioned viewership declines are accelerating again.”
Lightshed pointed out that WWE has a few years before TV rights have to be negotiated again, so WWE has a chance to “fix” the roster and suggested that Paul Levesque could be the one to help right the ship. They suggest the company might need, “A longer-term approach, even if ratings return more slowly, is probably the right prescription.”
Lightshed also stated that the future of the WWE Network is very important, noting they do “not expect a resolution on a transformative deal for a very long time.” They pointed out that the plans for the streaming service and using its data went out the window with the exit of George Barrios and Michelle Wilson as co-Presidents. With COVID-19 hitting, WWE didn’t get the chance to lock in a hoped-for deal with a major streaming company and export content there.
The analysis noted that Lightshed is “torn on the right future for the Network. We still believe those companies that can have [Direct to Consumer] relationships are far more better off in the current media ecosystem. Admittedly, though, we have grown more skeptical of the Network with time. It might just be that WWE doesn’t have the DNA to be great at DTC / grow it far beyond what it is today.”
Lightshed noted they’d like to see the next iteration of the WWE Network (the potential multi-tiered one, which the company has backed off from) launch before determining whether WWE should abandon the Direct to Consumer strategy.
The analysis went on to state that they cannot recommend WWE’s stock right now because there are “still simply too many critical questions surrounding the company” at the moment, specifically the company’s creative direction. They noted the company’s engagement with viewers is more crucial than ever and noted they see “a potential domestic devaluation in sports rights coming, particularly as WWE” - especially with the NHL and NBA returns potentially taking a bite out of WWE’s ratings.
Lightshed pointed out that WWE’s main success are their television rights fees and that the stock “crumbled” earlier this year when international rights did not match what WWE garnered from the USA Network and FOX. Lightshed also expressed their doubts that FOX and NBC Universal will want to spend more money on WWE rights when the deals come due given the current environment and how WWE has performed. Pointing out how FOX has dropped sports properties and cut back on WWE programming and how NBC is “backing away” from pay-tv with an eye on streaming success with Peacock, their worry is that the landscape may not be there for WWE to repeat or enhance the success of their most recent deals.
Lightshed stated that going forward, they “would like to understand the company’s growth strategy and level of investment, capital allocation and find comfort with new management (the company hired a new CFO, Kristina Salen a few weeks ago)” and would be open to again recommending WWE stock if “if we see a notable improvement in content / ratings and have a better understanding of the aforementioned issues. But for now, we assign WWE a Neutral rating.”
So basically just an article about what fans have been saying for years in long form.
I think it’s different when it’s a large investment analysis company. It will surely be brought up on the WWE earnings call coming up. Not sure Vince has ever been called out like this by big money.
Oh yeah, didn't mean to downplay the article at all. Everybody but Vince can see why his company is in the tank.
WWE Network folding into Peacock makes sense to me. Doubt it'll happen though.
WWE Network died the moment they put NXT on TV. They just don’t know it yet
Yeah, Vince can’t just dismiss that as smarks and their dirt sheets. He’ll actually have to answer investors who bring that up
Yeah it's funny because the big selling point was supposed to be PPV prices being slashed from $60 to $10. The back catalogue was the second big selling point. NXT was supposed to be a bonus, but within a year it became the key attraction and now Mania, the Rumble, and SummerSlam are the only main roster things to care about.
Exactly, I’m a prefect example of their problem. I would reactivate my subscription around royal rumble every year through mania. Occasionally I’d reactivate for a month here and there depending on if I was really interested in the upcoming PPV too. The $10 was worth it because I’d get to see the PPV but also be able to catch up with NXT during those times and any other content I’d missed. Since they put NXT on TV, the rest of the stuff that on the network doesn’t make it worthwhile. I have no moral qualms about just pirating a stream for PPVs I’m interested in which honestly hasn’t been very often as recently.
It’s too bad that WWE didn’t have the long term success with their online offering because I would have loved to see UFC go their route and include live PPVs on Fight Pass. I would pay for that in a hot second if it included PPVs
Gonna be a great call tomorrow
I watched as a little kid through college. I'm the person they lost along the way.
Reading this thread is how i keep up now. I just go to my friends house & watch Royal Rumble/ WM.
Its more fun bc i dont have to watch them fuck up the build or push the wrong person. I just judge the matches themselves. If there wasnt betting on the Rumble i doubt i would still even do that.
Smaller crowd for AEW tonight. Much quieter. Definitely hurting the show.
Woof. That match was bad. I still enjoyed the character stuff, but the work was all over the place.
The former Zack Ryder looks like he’s benefiting from no more wellness policy
And he stole Trumps paint
This has been the worst AEW show in a while, but it’s still fairly enjoyable.
Needed to let Warhorse rule some more ass.
I love MJF but that promo was too long
That was brutal. Christ.
Taz. Shut up.
Missed Excalibur so much tonight
Kieth Lee promo and interaction with Kross was great tonight
MJF fucking killed it. That was an amazing promo.
The MJF star took off last night. My God that was incredible. He might be the biggest star in wrestling within the next year or two.
Need to go ahead and put the strap on him.
Watching some of these Mongo fucks up twitter videos and how in the world did they let him in the ring with their wrestlers? Hes out of control and has no idea what hes doing
I really don’t like JR and Tony Schiovonne together. They are too good of friends and the broadcast turns into grabass too much. I like either of them with Excalibur but not together. AEW needs to go to a 2 man booth, let Tony do all of the interviews and stuff like that
Tag title match was good. Was really impressed with dark order
I disagree. Maybe because I’m 37 and they’re such staples of my childhood, but I especially love Tony on commentary. It just takes me back. JR is good like 75% of the time, but it beats the hell out of Cole/Graves or Phillips/Saxton constantly shilling or using the corporate buzzwords. It’s raw and organic, which isn’t always great, but I prefer it to the alternative.
i agree it’s better than Raw but AEW booth is better with less people
This this was more indicative of the AEW show feeling off all night, but I’ll be curious how MJF segments do going forward. His potential is undeniable but I still think this is a bit early for a title program. That said, his match won’t headline the PPV (something involving the tag titles will I am sure)
Quarter seven saw AEW lose 70,000 viewers and 30,000 in 18-49 for the MJF interview. NXT lost 51,000 viewers and 32,000 in 18-49 for Scott vs. Atlas and ring intros for the main event.
Quarter eight saw AEW gain 1,000 viewers and but lose 20,000 in 18-49 for Moxley & Allin vs. Cage & Starks. NXT gained 60,000 viewers and 36,000 in 18-49 for Lumis vs. Balor vs. Thatcher.
Darby fucked that guys back up so bad
Grayson can fucking go. Been very impressed with him
I may actually buy this
Oh I’m buying it. It’s going to be so dumb.
I didn't watch last night, but I think a Big E push will get me to tune back in, or at least follow his arc closely online.
TalkinShop A-Mania is so dumb, it’s amazing
Do you have to buy/watch it live? Was hoping to watch tomorrow morning or something.