Jim Ross has posted a new blog entry. Here are the highlights…
Based on the WWE conference call this morning, executives were apparently disappointed with the Summer Slam PPV buys and the term ‘attraction’ was used as the reason. Couldn’t agree more. PPV’s are all attraction driven and they’ve always been.
However, the more that is given away on free TV and the more free TV that is provided in general the harder it is for attractions to be considered worth spending extra, big bucks on and adding to one’s cable or satellite bill.
Plus, too often major storylines are 1. over thought and 2. over exposed in largely a ‘sameness’ presentation on free TV to make them feel special enough for one to want to invest significant money on PPV to see more.
I’m a believer that TV ratings can be achieved without giving away multiple, PPV attractions but only if long term, creative planning is firmly in place. Changing things on the fly and making 11th hour decisions regarding direction, etc will never be a successful formula.
PPV’s should generally feature one of two things. if not both, in different, main event level bouts, 1. The ‘blow off’ of a well told storyline or 2. The first bout of a well set up issue. It gets very tricky when one is trying to get multiple, PPV’s out of two talents on successive PPV events. It can be done but it’s getting harder and harder or so it seems.
Storylines need to be simplified and made to be more plausibly believable and relatable to the average fan. That allows for the talents to create a discernable, personal issue and create an emotional investment that is required to manufacture success and to warrant spending more PPV dollars.
How some in the business can discount the lack of disposable income for the average Joe to buy monthly PPV’s is beyond incredulous to me. Most fans cannot buy 12 PPV’s in today’s economy…no matter if it be in pro wrestling or MMA…..or both.
Plus, what new talent in the business today is truly “hot?” What new talent(s) provides must see TV and is in a professional ascension? Until someone new gets hot and connects organically with the audience then the shift in the perception of the genre, in general, isn’t likely to change any time soon.
Stars sell tickets, it’s always been that way, and until company’s figure out how to commit to making new stars the business is going to on its current course.
The good news in another big picture item for WWE is that their TV rights fees are dramatically under valued, another prime example of the old, pro rasslin bias in my view. When WWE TV programming gets what they deserve and what the market will bear, business, at least on the financial side, will definitely pick up.