Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Cost of Pay Per View

Wrestlemania 26 in Phoenix

This blog is inspired by conversations I have with my wrestling "buddies" Chad and Travis.  We have a weekly discussion on things we like, hate, and how we'd make the wrestling world perfect.

One thing we talk about often is the number of wrestling pay per views on the calendar.  Both World Wrestling Entertainment and Total Non-Stop Action have 12 PPVs a year.  Each.  So those of you who can add, that's 24 between the two companies.  In my opinion, that's too many.  Way too many.  I think it's starting to have an effect on the product.  It has for some time now.

When I was a kid, there were really four PPVs a year from the WWF.  Of course for a while, it was just Wrestlemania, but then we got Survivor Series, followed by SummerSlam, and then the Royal Rumble.   I personally would like to go back to that formula.  

Doing the four big ones each year, (RR in January, Mania in March, SummerSlam in August, and Survivor Series in November) would add some value to the PPV concept.  I think people would be more willing to buy a few quality PPVs a year vs. spending money (upwards of $40) each month.  Who does that anyway?  

But cutting back on PPVs cuts back on revenue.  I get that.  You'd also have to rework the way this weekly shows are done.  WWE for example is putting out 5 hours of fresh content a week.  That's 20 hours of "regular" shows and a 3 hour PPV on top of that each month.

By spreading out the PPVs, you could also give feuds time to simmer.  Right now, they seem to hot shot the matches we're seeing.  Look at the buildup for most PPVs now.  They're adding matches literally days before the event.  This has to stop.  Maybe it's more a lack of creativity than too many pay per views.

Another thing I'd do, stop showing PPV matches the following night or weeks later for FREE.  If I know that I'll be seeing the rematch on FREE TV, why would I spend my hard earned cash on a pay per view?  

Think back to the 80's.  There was a lot less wrestling on TV, but I think there was more interest in terms of the matches.  Now days, the focus seems to be too much on the entertainment side of things, which is important too, but wrestling needs to be more of the focus.

I'm starting to feel like I'm rambling.  Hopefully you understand what I'm trying to say.  

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