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#1 2020-12-19 13:09:17

RyanP
Member
Registered: 2019-11-06
Posts: 317

Do viewership ratings tell the whole story?

I work with a couple of guys who are wrestling fans and we were discussing the low viewership numbers of wrestling shows across the board and one of them posed an interesting question that I thought I would pose on here. Do viewership ratings tell the whole story?  What I mean by that is that do the ratings reflect the quality of the product or  does it reflect the lack of interest in wrestling in 2020? I personally think it’s a combination of both. It’s no secret that i believe that one of the main reasons for the low viewership numbers is that wrestling doesn’t have the popularity it once did. That’s not to say the programming isn’t a factor either. Take Raw for example they’ve been barely hitting 1.5 million in viewership numbers but I don’t think that tells the whole story. You have to factor in MNF because that’s always a factor in viewership numbers this time of year not to mention it’s not the entire Raw product that’s bad. Fiend/Orton is good, McIntyre/Styles is good and one could argue that hurt business/new day is a solid feud too. Bottom line is that Raw needs to change it up but they do have some solid storylines right now too. SD has been consistently at 2 million which reflects the quality of their product which is solid. Look at NXT/AEW both solid products but the viewership numbers don’t reflect that. So should we automatically assume that products are bad because their viewership numbers are bad? No and that’s the problem with some fans they put too much focus on who’s winning the “ratings war” and not enough on the other factors involved like the quality of the product of the product or the popularity of wrestling. Look at how much AEW dropped in viewership this last week. Almost 200k. Does that mean their product was bad? No it means their are factors to consider besides ratings. What are y’all’s thoughts on this subject. Do viewership ratings tell the whole story about the quality of the product or do fans rely too much on viewership numbers to judge the product? What do y’all think?

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#2 2020-12-19 14:05:21

HC13 Aries Styles
Member
Registered: 2019-11-17
Posts: 396

Re: Do viewership ratings tell the whole story?

It all depends on several variables...  What other avenues do people watch 1-DVR, 2- Streaming sites, 3- change in viewership....   
Take it back in the day during the Monday night wars it wasn't unusal for Raw to get 5 million to 7 million people watching 1997-2001...   Take the past 19 years we been seeing a decline in ratings  from 2001-2012  the highest viewership might been 4 to 5 million viewers esp for special edition, and from 2001 to 2018 the average was close to 3 million viewers....   Looking at recent numbers for Raw, one have to question why can't they break out of their slump, or have the viewership change because of other reasons- people cutting the cable and such and streaming it more??  Now looking at Smackdown  the show have growed, which it was thrown around so much the past 21 years CW, WB, Sci-Fi, USA, and now the Fox network/networks.... With Smackdown I think also they have found a way to mostly maintain their core audience of around 2 million viewers....  I going say right now NXT is searching for their core audience trying to grow, trying to get that audience or some viewers that both Raw and Smackdown gets right now their average is 700,000 to 800,000 the past two years of being on TV....
Then we have AEW, the new player in the game last year beginning with their first show in October 2019 finishing with a average of 898,000 viewers... This year I think they on the verge of finishing slightly below that at least 800,000....   Now looking  at  recent numbers for AEW  looking all the way back at the September 8th show where they did over 1 million viewers,  usually their average viewership looks like to be  either north or south of 800,000 viewers the lowest being Thankgiving Week with 712k, and the highest being the first episode we hear Sting Speaks on why hes came to AEW with 995k....

Now again I go back to the factors I mention how may have cut the cord/cable and Stream it, or how many people DVRs or watch the Show on Demand,  do wrestling fans even binge watch the show for  for 2 or 3 weeks??? Or is it also lost of interest for some, with the WWE and Raws case???

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#3 2020-12-19 15:22:22

GoodOldPapa
Member
Registered: 2019-12-04
Posts: 196

Re: Do viewership ratings tell the whole story?

Another thing to consider is that Monday Night Football has been around for the last 50 years, way before Raw was even a thought, so I would like to think their impact in minimal.  Also from 97-01 you had WCW Monday Nitro in direct competition, and they were pulling 3-5 million viewers in addition to what Raw was bringing.  After WCW closed its doors, the majority of their viewers quit watching wrestling all together because Raw never did get a bump afterwards.  It was a slow, steady decline that seems to have really accelerated in the last 3-4 years.

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#4 2020-12-19 18:38:54

Tommy
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Registered: 2019-11-03
Posts: 163

Re: Do viewership ratings tell the whole story?

I just think wrestling is a dying art as a whole. There's no massive mainstream star in any company that people would want to tune in specifically to see, and frankly I don't see one coming any time soon if ever again.

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#5 2020-12-20 15:29:09

HC13 Aries Styles
Member
Registered: 2019-11-17
Posts: 396

Re: Do viewership ratings tell the whole story?

Tommy wrote:

I just think wrestling is a dying art as a whole. There's no massive mainstream star in any company that people would want to tune in specifically to see, and frankly I don't see one coming any time soon if ever again.

I kinda disagree, I think it more the less the avenues of how and where to watch it have change...
As I mention DVRing, On Demand, and Streaming it have become more popular the past 20 years.... 20 years  ago and I was one who would record some of the shows to watch back later.... Kinda wish I would have recorded more than I did... Now you don't even have to have a tape  to watch just know how to find a stream or watch it later on DVR/On Demand...  I was binge watching ROH Pure Championship tournament earlier this month on Fite..

Last edited by HC13 Aries Styles (2020-12-20 22:08:01)

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#6 2020-12-20 16:44:46

RyanP
Member
Registered: 2019-11-06
Posts: 317

Re: Do viewership ratings tell the whole story?

HC13 Aries Styles wrote:
Tommy wrote:

I just think wrestling is a dying art as a whole. There's no massive mainstream star in any company that people would want to tune in specifically to see, and frankly I don't see one coming any time soon if ever again.

I kinda disagree, I think it more the less the avenues of how and where to watch it have change...
As I mention DVRing, On Demand, and Streaming it have become more popular the past 20 years.... 20 years  ago and I was one who would record some of the shows to watch back later.... Kinda wish I would have recorded more than I did... Now you don't even have to have a tape  to watch just know how to find a stream or watch it later on DVR/On Demand...  I was binge watch ROH Pure Championship tournament earlier this month on Fite..

You have a valid point but ask yourself this. Is the number of people DVRing,Streaming and On Demand enough to tip the scale one way or the other? Because based on the tv viewership numbers there would have to be a lot of people doing those things to prove your point and I’m not sure there is. We aren’t going to have a definitive answer one way or the other but Tommy also made a good point too when he said there is no massive mainstream star because that mainstream star would add more viewers on tv and streaming services/dvring. I know it’s hard for hardcore wrestling fans to admit but wrestling’s popularity has gone downhill compared to 20 years ago.

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#7 2020-12-20 22:35:09

HC13 Aries Styles
Member
Registered: 2019-11-17
Posts: 396

Re: Do viewership ratings tell the whole story?

RyanP wrote:
HC13 Aries Styles wrote:
Tommy wrote:

I just think wrestling is a dying art as a whole. There's no massive mainstream star in any company that people would want to tune in specifically to see, and frankly I don't see one coming any time soon if ever again.

I kinda disagree, I think it more the less the avenues of how and where to watch it have change...
As I mention DVRing, On Demand, and Streaming it have become more popular the past 20 years.... 20 years  ago and I was one who would record some of the shows to watch back later.... Kinda wish I would have recorded more than I did... Now you don't even have to have a tape  to watch just know how to find a stream or watch it later on DVR/On Demand...  I was binge watch ROH Pure Championship tournament earlier this month on Fite..

You have a valid point but ask yourself this. Is the number of people DVRing,Streaming and On Demand enough to tip the scale one way or the other? Because based on the tv viewership numbers there would have to be a lot of people doing those things to prove your point and I’m not sure there is. We aren’t going to have a definitive answer one way or the other but Tommy also made a good point too when he said there is no massive mainstream star because that mainstream star would add more viewers on tv and streaming services/dvring. I know it’s hard for hardcore wrestling fans to admit but wrestling’s popularity has gone downhill compared to 20 years ago.

I think in some ways people are correct there isn't a mainstream star.... But then if one was to look- WWE have Roman Reigns, Charlotte Flair, (Brock Lesnar if he comes back) maybe can include Lashley, Drew McIntrye, and Seth Rollins and Daniel Byran...  With AEW Jericho, Moxley and Cody Rhodes, and Jake  Hager with his MMA... I go back to my point how many fans either DVR or Stream, or watch the show on Demand again...    Then go to YouTube, look at some of the views a match may get, the first match I go to is the WWE 2017 Royal Rumble match with 35,582,000 since January 4th 2020.... Note  WWE have 70.8 million subscribers to their YT channel...  AEW's top watched video is 24 million posted October 18 2019...
Again going back to not watching the shows traditionally on TV but watching DVR, Streams, on Demand, and  even YouTube...

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