In the face of television ratings being at their lowest levels in memory, Vince McMahon declared in yesterday’s Q3 earning’s report that WWE actually has more fans than ever before.
Responding to a question from analyst Curry Baker, who questioned what would happen with future TV rights negotiations due to ratings being well below last year’s levels, both McMahon and President Nick Khan pointed out that the total audience watching WWE is larger than ever.
The justification for that claim, of course, is that WWE’s YouTube channel has never been healthier (and indeed, recently passed a major milestone) and its social media numbers are higher than ever before. Although, on the latter point it is worth noting that by their very nature, social media numbers almost always go up rather than down.
Of the television ratings, McMahon said:
“Firstly, consider this, when you look at television ratings in and of themselves, that’s what they are. With us, it’s one of our many measures. When you look at in total, everyone who looks at WWE through the course of the year, well, when you get into that quarter of the year, we have far more fans now than we have ever had.
So when you look at television ratings, it is what it is. It’s not to say we don’t want to increase them, of course, we do. But aside from that, our total audience is much bigger, so you can’t just like hang a hat on, okay, ratings are down.
Now without question, we have to have a mothership, and we do in terms of Raw and Smackdown. And from there, clips and comments and other video and so forth, you take it to the next week or the next year or whatever. So it’s that – we’re never off the air. It’s a Monday night, and then right into where is we’re going back to Friday night back to Monday night as well as Sunday pay per views.”
Vince McMahon also added that despite WWE’s successful numbers across the board, the company is still looking at ways to increase the television ratings, citing better writing, better execution of the storylines and, interestingly, having talent that “people are interested in”.
“As far as ratings getting higher, we are doing everything we can. We – as far as the ThunderDome is concerned, that’s been received very well by our fans, brought more back. Again, it’s better writing, better execution and talent that people are interested in.”
Regarding the ThunderDome, Khan added that WWE expects to continue using the facility at Orlando’s Amway Center in some capacity well into 2021, but that there are several other arenas they can move into when they need to leave Orlando (due to others sports needing the venue), likely around December time.