WWE Needs to Continue to Integrate Raw with Live Programming on a WWE …
November 8, 2014 - WWE
WWE Raw went into overtime this past Monday, and it was glorious.
When we contend “glorious,” I’m not articulate about a overtime compare in question—it was rather delayed and lacked throng energy—but rather a concept.
WWE has attempted all to get a differently vast fanbase to allow to a WWE Network, though a organization seems to have bending usually a hardcore following.
With just over 700,000 subscribers announced during WWE‘s many new benefit call, this series is only a fragment of a normal weekly assembly of around 4 million who balance in to Raw.
If WWE truly wants to benefit on those intensity WWE Network Subscribers who balance into Raw, they need to make Raw partial of a WWE Network.
Common during a territory era of TV wrestling, ending a wrestling uncover betimes has turn a mislaid art. WWE could advantage by strategically engagement high-profile matches and segments to atmosphere exclusively on a WWE Network. Just imagine a clarity of urgency among potential subscribers if Sting showed up on WWE TV in a final seconds of Raw:
“Is that Sting in a rafters? We’re out of time, folks! Tune into a WWE Network to see what happens next!”
They lerned fans to balance into a third hour of Raw, what’s an additional 20 minutes?
Following Raw this past week, WWE experimented with a initial disdainful post-Raw compare on a WWE Network. It was the acceleration of an differently expected argument between Rusev and United States Champion, Sheamus, as a anti-American beast prisoner WWE‘s many nationalistic title.
On paper, a match is pay-per-view quality, generally with Sheamus as a reigning United States Champion. Fantasy bookers everywhere have had this argument penciled in given they began holding Rusev seriously. Even WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross chimed in on a scenario:
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) May 6, 2014
Months later, here we were. Rusev‘s defining impulse as provocative superficial of a Russian investiture had arrived.
For only $9.99.
WWE‘s stability efforts to block a cost indicate of a WWE Network have valid fruitless, with only 23,000 subscribers combined in a third entertain notwithstanding a huge general launch (from James Caldwell of PWTorch).
Baiting fans with price points and pay-per-views will not do a trick. The small net benefit of subscribers is justification of fans signing adult for big-name pay-per-views before cancelling. Now that subscribers don’t have to dedicate for 6 months, this will continue to be a trend as prolonged as WWE creates pay-per-views a focal point.
In the pre-Network era, WWE‘s most successful pay-per-view (WrestleMania XXVIII) drew just over one million buys (from Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter h/t WrestlingInc.com). Raw’s weekly audience quadruples that amount.
WWE has given divided pay-per-view peculiarity matches on giveaway radio for a while now. But with a pay-per-view business effectively cannibalized (SummerSlam drew only 147,000 buys in 2014 compared to 296,000 pre-Network), WWE needs to make Raw improved than pay-per-views in sequence to safeguard fans stay subscribed on a weekly—not monthly or occasional—basis.
If a WWE Network is going to be a long-term tack of WWE‘s business, overtime engagement won’t be necessary, it’ll be mandatory.