Jump to content
andrew "the ref" coyne

WWE FInancials.... What would you do with $40 million?!?!

Recommended Posts

Obviously we criticise WWE's product a lot, but you can't deny they are a juggernaut of a business.

Latest quarters came out, and pretty much compared to this time last year income has dropped....

https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/07/30/wwe-posts-43-8-million-profit-in-its-second-quarter-earnings/?fbclid=IwAR3mo9XJ3E_edDZBKWHddItLuLUpiMWERuFttFgoUJJHrRf9r1ufFEiwysI

... BUT... due to massive cost saving from not having to tour, they made 43.8 million which is 321% more profit from this point last year. Mainly this is due to saving a shit tonne on touring and setting up tv. But it's real kick in the bollock for wrestlers who were recently fired or temporarily let go.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a sensible business move to let people go. It's all about the longer term survival. This year is uncertain. Next year who knows? They'd be crazy not to save as much money as they can where they can. They've been around long enough to know what they're doing.

And they're always letting people go, COVID or no COVID.

They're in a huge period of not knowing what's going on. That's scary for all businesses. Will they get their ratings back? How slowly will the live events pick up again? Will COVID flare up again next year? Will something else?

If I was an investor I'd be happy with their smart strategy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, DavidB6937 said:

Will they get their ratings back?

No.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, DavidB6937 said:

It was a sensible business move to let people go. It's all about the longer term survival. This year is uncertain. Next year who knows? They'd be crazy not to save as much money as they can where they can.

Next year is certain. They'll be getting *more* TV money because of the way the contract is structured. 

Depending on the response to COVID they may well be able to get one or two lots of Saudi money that wasn't available this year. They'll also likely have the option to sell tickets to TV tapings and to run house shows, or sack them off if they aren't profitable. It's hard to see their Network revenue dropping significantly because if you're still subscribing right now, you aren't going anywhere.

Given they've sold no tickets or live event merchandise this year, it's pretty much impossible for their revenues not to be higher next year, while they aren't forced to do anything that increases costs. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it's already been mentioned that house shows will likely never return to the level they were but do you think they might even consider making more TV take place in a static location. Perhaps not the performance center but essentially the iMPACT  Raw/Smackdown Zone? Even in the next year or so it probably isn't wish to start shifting your crew and roster around to different areas where they could be infected.

Ratings are so low now and I think unless something drastically changes they are never coming back up as people have found far better things to do in their free time than watch wrestling. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, simonworden said:

Ratings are so low now and I think unless something drastically changes they are never coming back up as people have found far better things to do in their free time than watch wrestling. 

Do you not think that's as much to do with people not being able to attend though? I know I'm more likely to follow a product if I'm then able to go and see it live and be a part of it etc. At the moment it often feels missable and I almost feel held at a distance.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with the ratings etc once everything is considered to be 'normal' again. You might be right. People may have moved on and actually don't miss watching it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, DavidB6937 said:

Do you not think that's as much to do with people not being able to attend though? I know I'm more likely to follow a product if I'm then able to go and see it live and be a part of it etc. At the moment it often feels missable and I almost feel held at a distance.

I wonder about this - I've said for years that I think many of WWE's problems stem from when they stopped treating their TV show as a live event being recorded for TV, and started treating as a TV show that happened to have a live audience. This whole thing has just been the last nail in that coffin.

When Bret Hart put his sunglasses on a kid in the crowd, it made you want to be there. When wrestlers actually reacted to a crowd's chants or heckles rather than just plod on with their promo regardless, or just leave a gap for them to shout "WHAT", it made you feel like you were missing out by not being part of that atmosphere. It's part of the reason the RAW after Wrestlemania still gets touted as a special night, because generally the atmosphere of the crowd is different from the week-to-week RAW audiences.

Something that no-fans shows have highlighted is the extent to which the fans really don't impact on how WWE produce TV at all. With the exception of a select few, no one has adapted their style, and they haven't adapted their production or presentation, to reflect the fact that there's no live audience there. Which means that when there is an audience, they're not having any meaningful impact on the show. 

I can't remember the last time I watched a WWE show that made me think "man, I wish I was there to see that live", because it's not how they present themselves any more. It's a real simple thing, but JR on AEW commentary (when there were audiences) would always say things like, "there's nothing like being here live" or "if you can't join us in person next week, catch us on TNT". It always foregrounded the live experience first, and the TV as just a means to replicate that from home. Even little stuff like how the announcers used to say, "you can't really appreciate the size of the Big Show unless you witness him in person", stuff that sells the live event as the true WWE experience. 

 

Without all of that, I don't really see it as a live show first and foremost, and I expect the majority don't either. There might be an initial upswing in interest as fans start to come back, but I don't think it will be sustained. And if people have broken the habit of watching every Monday night because the shows suck now, it's unlikely that they'll revert back to watching every week now that the habit has been broken. 

Edited by BomberPat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, LaGoosh said:

No.

I find that once people get out of thhe habit it's near impossible to bring them back. WWE relies on habit from my experience even if people hate the product they cannot say goodbye. Once they do they realise it wasn't all that great at the time. 

 

It's why they lost me as a fan in 2002 when they started charging in the UK for PPVs. Once I missed a few I realised I didn't actually miss much at all and stopped altogether barring occasional forays

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, you're definitely right that when I was younger I was desperate to go to live events because they were sold as such. The advertising was all over the place. You HAD to go and see these guys live! It's certainly not drilled into people quite so much anymore.

Having said that, I do still enjoy going to live events, far more than I do watching it on TV. There's just something about the atmosphere that makes it so enjoyable, but that's often regardless of which company I'm going to see. And I guess most people only have so much money to be spending on stuff like that, so it's very much a pick and choose type deal. Would you really be picking a WWE event to go to when you see the hot crowds of AEW for example.

My best 'live' experience in recent memory was the NJPW London event, and my knowledge of New Japan is nothing compared to my decades of WWE. But it was just so damn exciting and fun and everyone loved every single second of it. While with stuff like WWE, you get 3 hour dragged out Raws or a Mania PPV that lasts for a week. They really don't play to their strengths.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, DavidB6937 said:

Yeah, you're definitely right that when I was younger I was desperate to go to live events because they were sold as such. The advertising was all over the place. You HAD to go and see these guys live! It's certainly not drilled into people quite so much anymore.

Having said that, I do still enjoy going to live events, far more than I do watching it on TV. There's just something about the atmosphere that makes it so enjoyable, but that's often regardless of which company I'm going to see. And I guess most people only have so much money to be spending on stuff like that, so it's very much a pick and choose type deal. Would you really be picking a WWE event to go to when you see the hot crowds of AEW for example.

My best 'live' experience in recent memory was the NJPW London event, and my knowledge of New Japan is nothing compared to my decades of WWE. But it was just so damn exciting and fun and everyone loved every single second of it. While with stuff like WWE, you get 3 hour dragged out Raws or a Mania PPV that lasts for a week. They really don't play to their strengths.

Definitely right about the London show. Njpw isn't to everyone's taste but you want to be at those shows! It's mad that I'd opt for WK over WM in 2020. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DavidB6937 said:

Do you not think that's as much to do with people not being able to attend though? I know I'm more likely to follow a product if I'm then able to go and see it live and be a part of it etc. At the moment it often feels missable and I almost feel held at a distance.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with the ratings etc once everything is considered to be 'normal' again. You might be right. People may have moved on and actually don't miss watching it.

 

1 hour ago, BomberPat said:

I wonder about this - I've said for years that I think many of WWE's problems stem from when they stopped treating their TV show as a live event being recorded for TV, and started treating as a TV show that happened to have a live audience. This whole thing has just been the last nail in that coffin.

When Bret Hart put his sunglasses on a kid in the crowd, it made you want to be there. When wrestlers actually reacted to a crowd's chants or heckles rather than just plod on with their promo regardless, or just leave a gap for them to shout "WHAT", it made you feel like you were missing out by not being part of that atmosphere. It's part of the reason the RAW after Wrestlemania still gets touted as a special night, because generally the atmosphere of the crowd is different from the week-to-week RAW audiences.

Something that no-fans shows have highlighted is the extent to which the fans really don't impact on how WWE produce TV at all. With the exception of a select few, no one has adapted their style, and they haven't adapted their production or presentation, to reflect the fact that there's no live audience there. Which means that when there is an audience, they're not having any meaningful impact on the show. 

I can't remember the last time I watched a WWE show that made me think "man, I wish I was there to see that live", because it's not how they present themselves any more. It's a real simple thing, but JR on AEW commentary (when there were audiences) would always say things like, "there's nothing like being here live" or "if you can't join us in person next week, catch us on TNT". It always foregrounded the live experience first, and the TV as just a means to replicate that from home. Even little stuff like how the announcers used to say, "you can't really appreciate the size of the Big Show unless you witness him in person", stuff that sells the live event as the true WWE experience. 

 

Without all of that, I don't really see it as a live show first and foremost, and I expect the majority don't either. There might be an initial upswing in interest as fans start to come back, but I don't think it will be sustained. And if people have broken the habit of watching every Monday night because the shows suck now, it's unlikely that they'll revert back to watching every week now that the habit has been broken. 

I think wrestling live can be one of the most entertaining ways to spend an evening when it is done right and it can of course lead to higher ratings and profits as people become more invested in the characters they have seen live. But that said the live show has to actually be entertaining and feel like value for money. Being involved is a big seller of wrestling along with the razzle and dazzle of larger than life characters and ridiculous or engaging story lines. I never would have become such a huge long term fan of wrestling if it hadn't been for the live shows I attended and these were local family friendly shows. Being able to boo the bad guys and cheer the good guys so to speak was great fun and the variety of what you saw made it a must see every time a show was put on. This carried on until I left the UK and since then my viewership has been waning to the point i'm not even bothering with AEW anymore as I just want to do something else with my free time.

I last went to a WWE house show in 2014 that coincided with a visit to my parents and some old friends. It was a Monday/Tuesday night B show card I believe and while the wrestling was solid it was an absolute second gear dud. I didn't want nor expect the wrestlers to kill themselves for a half full Bournemouth International Center but there was limited fan interaction and pretty much every match was wrestled like they would a C-show TV taping so it certainly didn't generate any further warm fuzzy love for WWE or Wrestling.

So I don't think any live events or fan filled arenas will help them out, actually I think if they go back to the same old sets and ways of doing things most will say "oh it's nice to be back to it" in week 1 but by week 3 that sentiment will be long gone.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it’s super sad that when I was a kid the ultimate dream was to attend Wrestlemania live, whereas now that I’ve got the money to do as much I can’t justify it because I know the ten hour show would leave me exhausted and pissed off.

@BomberPat articulated it better than I ever could. The biggest thing these no-fan shows have revealed is that WWE was already going in this direction and had been for years. The fans were there before Covid, sure, but it was extremely rare that they’d be directly played towards or incorporated into the show.

You see it with each guy that goes through the NXT system. All authenticity and improvisation is rinsed out of their relationship with the audience, in favour of specific, over-rehearsed gestures and glances during their entrances and glaringly obvious pauses they’re scripted to take in promos, for when they expect the audience to react.

‚ÄúI‚Äôll fight you at...Wrestlemania! (***)‚ÄĚ etc.

You wonder if Vince secretly prefers it this way. Live fans have been little more than nuisance to him for the longest time, and not having them there to shit on stuff has seemingly allowed him to do all the bollocks he couldn’t do before, eyeballs and all.

Edited by Supremo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What would I do with 43.8m?  Pay out a bigger interim dividend?

To answer DavidB's question, I would say three things:

Firstly, they don't have anything that draws anymore.  Nothing, nada, zilch, not even old guys.  Does anybody think a random Stone Cold appearance could pop a hotshot weekly rating right now?  I know that quoting Jim Cornette is something that wankers do ("well if the cap fits") but it reminds me of a story he tells about Jim Barnette being put into a WCW booking committee meeting to antagonise people on Jim Herd's behalf and asking "what's going to draw the houses this month".  Cornette told him flatly that nothing will draw the houses this month.  However, IIRC, if they made some moves that month and the following month, they might be able to heat something up that'd draw something three months later.

Secondly, there was an era in the Monday Night War where WWF was consistently more entertaining than WCW.  However, WCW had the existing stars and they could move numbers with a swerve or hotshot something.  It took years and a great number of things to come into place before they could bring out somebody like Tyson to have the impact that he ended up having.  However, they were better for at least a year before that.

Thirdly, we cannot underestimate the impact of the numerous decisions that WWE has made that have driven away fans.  From going to Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi (and justifying it using ridiculous logic) to welcoming Hulk Hogan back to firing people during the Covid pandemic to meet quarterly profit projections that you were going to blast through anyway.  There are so many scumbag decisions that they've made down the years that some people just got tired of justifying them to themselves.  The last batch have come at a time where there is an alternative in mainstream American wrestling that isn't an utter dumpster fire and pro wrestling worldwide is more accessible than ever.  There is no such thing as ethical consumption under capitalism but that doesn't mean you have to follow the least ethical company and turn a blind eye to their complete lack of ethics.

Fourthly, they need to realise that the structure isn't working.  They have the highest production values is wrestling and they piss it away on nonsense.  The camera work is horrible.  The commentary is horrible.  It feels like watching a wrestling show in a crash helmet and having somebody beat you over the head with Jim Duggan's 2-by-4 (which I recently found out is a 4-by-2 in the UK).  I remember watching that Buddy Murphy/Roman Reigns match and said it was like "watching one guy spam Golden Lovers moves while the production gives my fucking arsehole a headache".  The scripted promos don't work, the way they book doesn't work.

I know nothing will change but to me, the obvious things are:

  1. Stop focusing on short termism.  Pick your best guys under some arbitrary age/number of miles on the clock.  Pick guys who can theoretically go for five years who haven't been on top and push them instead.  They're going to get their arses kicked between now and November because all the sport that was going to happen between March and November is all going to happen at once, every night of the week, and people are rabid for it.  Nothing will draw now but when we hopefully get past this once in a century phenomenon, something will and it will be something new.  Maybe keep going with Drew McIntyre on Raw, I don't know.
  2. Ratings don't just rebound immediately, it takes time to rebuild trust and takes even more time to rebuild the habit.  I don't know when it'll be back but the 18-49 demo are going to watch Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood instead of Raw because eventhough L&HH is garbage, they book more compelling storylines FFS.
  3. They need to rebuild their corporate image.  Not by issuing press releases or having Bindi Irwin-McMahon go out there and fake her way through a speech but by fixing their corporate practices.
  4. Fire Kevin Dunn, put NXT back to how it was, only move the camera when it needs to move, STOP FUCKING SHOUTING ALL THE TIME ON COMMENTARY.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, mikey said:

The camera work is horrible

I think I say it every time it comes up but that's always what drives me off on the rare occasions I do look in on something recommended as a must see. It's genuinely uncomfortable to watch and I'm very much of the opinion less is more and pissing about with a million cuts, zooms and wobbles does more harm than good by detracting from the story being told. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Tommy! said:

I think I say it every time it comes up but that's always what drives me off on the rare occasions I do look in on something recommended as a must see. It's genuinely uncomfortable to watch and I'm very much of the opinion less is more and pissing about with a million cuts, zooms and wobbles does more harm than good by detracting from the story being told. 

When I was a kid, I'd read those stories about people who'd get motion sickness on the Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios because the ride was 0.1 seconds desynced and think "what a bunch of pussies" but Kevin Dunn's production genuinely gives me motion sickness.  I honestly don't know how it's not more of an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...