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The 7 - Pro Wrestling - WWE (Kinda) Releases 2004 PPV Buyrates
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Freeway
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#1 Posted on 5.1.05 1453.44
Reposted on: 5.1.12 1454.45
So, I roamed over to the WWE's Investor Relations site and those helpful devils posted their Key Business Drivers for December 31st, including the final PPV of 2004: Armageddon.

So, barring any miraculous changes in numbers, here's how they did. All numbers are vague approximations based on the WWE's sometimes vague and difficult to read charts.

ROYAL RUMBLE: 575K [510K in 2003]
NO WAY OUT [SD]: 250K [450K in 2003]
WRESTLEMANIA: 890K [550K in 2003]
BACKLASH [RAW]: 300K [350K in 2003]
JUDGMENT DAY [SD]: 230K [320K in 2003]
BAD BLOOD [RAW]: 275K [375K in 2003 (RAW)]
GREAT AMERICAN BASH [SD]: 250K
VENGEANCE [RAW]: 250K [360K in 2003 (SD)]
SUMMERSLAM: 400K [460K in 2003]
UNFORGIVEN [RAW]: 240K [350K in 2003 (RAW)]
NO MERCY [SD]: 200K [280K in 2003 (SD)]
TABOO TUESDAY [RAW]: 180K
SURVIVOR SERIES: 325K [450K in 2003]
ARMAGEDDON [SD]: 225K [250K in 2003 (RAW)]

Vague 2004 Totals: 4,590,000. Royal Rumble & WrestleMania posted notable improvements (especially Mania, nearly doubling)...but the addition of two more shows did little to stop the bleeding.
Vague 2003 Totals: 5,055,000
Average 2004 Buy: 328K (Overall), 548K (Big Four), 249K (RAW), 231K (SD)
Average 2003 Buy: 421K (Overall), 493K (Big Four)
If you include 2003's brand exclusive shows: RAW's average is 278K through 8 shows, Smackdown's average is 256K through 7 shows.

Does anybody remember when the WWE raised the PPV cost to $34.95?
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emma
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#2 Posted on 5.1.05 1503.29
Reposted on: 5.1.12 1505.20
    Originally posted by Freeway420
    Does anybody remember when the WWE raised the PPV cost to $34.95?
Survivor Series in 11/02 was $34.95, so it's at least that long ago. (Just a data point that I happen to have readily at my fingertips.)
Freeway
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#3 Posted on 5.1.05 1509.44
Reposted on: 5.1.12 1510.17
    Originally posted by emma
      Originally posted by Freeway420
      Does anybody remember when the WWE raised the PPV cost to $34.95?
    Survivor Series in 11/02 was $34.95, so it's at least that long ago. (Just a data point that I happen to have readily at my fingertips.)


Thanks! That means that there's been no sizable increase in PPV revenue while buys have slid down. The only real question is "What's the break-even point?" I'm guessing Taboo Tuesday *barely* made money, if that.
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#4 Posted on 5.1.05 1513.10
Reposted on: 5.1.12 1513.32
I remember hearing 100,000 is the breaking point, it might even be lower than that. Then again if you add the two PPVs a month to the lone PPV you had last year, they basically did the same or doubled their money from last year. As much as people complain about two PPVs a month, it has proven to be profitable for the WWE, so I expect it to continue and I expect the New Year's and Rumble to tie Wrestlemanai XX in combined buyrates. I know someone coughCRZcough will make eat that last sentence when they come out in March.

(edited by A Fan on 5.1.05 1314)
JustinShapiro
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#5 Posted on 5.1.05 1537.04
Reposted on: 5.1.12 1538.43
"again if you add the two PPVs a month to the lone PPV you had last year, they basically did the same or doubled their money from last year."

It also costs money to promote and produce the second PPV so it's not all profit.

"As much as people complain about two PPVs a month, it has proven to be profitable for the WWE, so I expect it to continue"

As PPV continues to go down, maybe next year they should add two more per month to see if they can't get 500,000 out of 4. I guess that's easier than actually improving the core product so that it draws again.

"I expect the New Year's and Rumble to tie Wrestlemania XX in combined buyrates."

I ... whoa. Let's be wildly, wildly generous and assume that the Rumble equals last year's quite successful 575,000 buys. For NYR to tie Wrestlemania, it would have to do 315,000 buys, a mere almost 100,000 more than the last split show and 15,000 higher than any split show in 2003.

Now, if you'd have said Wrestlemania XXI, that's going to be a different story.
BigSteve
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#6 Posted on 5.1.05 1558.21
Reposted on: 5.1.12 1559.01
Not a good year at all for the E, but everyone alwready knows that. It must be kind of discouraging for them for the GAB to get about 250 K buys, but four months later, Taboo Tuesday, which had who matches better than anything at the Bash, gets 70,000 fewer buys. It'll be interesting to see how many buys NYR does get, as IMO, they've done a great job at hyping the EC match as a major event. If they do about the same as Armageddon or No Mercy, that's a bad, bad sign for them.
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#7 Posted on 5.1.05 1559.30
Reposted on: 5.1.12 1600.32
I actually expect WM21 to be the lowest Mania ever bought. Unless, they bring in Hogan or Rock or Austin or all of them then it will at least beat out WM19. I would expect with all the money spent on advertising and planning such that ticket sales for that event and merchandise sales would cover those most of those cost, probably not all, but a nice chunk. Even if they making 50,000 burates over the necessary break point that is still more money than they were getting from one PPV that did 25,000 less buyrates than last year.

I have such high confidence that New Years will do 350,000 buyrates while RR will do 570,000 buyrate thus beating WM21 by 30,000 buys. If it doesn't, Justin you can slap me for entire month by having me put this in my sig that states this: "This man said New Years and the Rumble would out do Wrestlemania 21's buyrates, please remember that when he posts anything." Sound like a deal?
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#8 Posted on 5.1.05 1622.36
Reposted on: 5.1.12 1623.21
Vague guesses:

New Year's Revolution: Last RAW PPV on a Sunday did 240K. This show has a strong main event and lackluster undercard, much like every split PPV. Thus, I'm pegging it for 250 to 260.
Royal Rumble: Down slightly from last year. I'm guessing that the strong storyline push for the Rumble match itself helped sell the show...and this one hasn't gotten that push yet. As it stands, look for between 500 and 525, a slight dip.
No Way Out: Depends on promotion. As it stands, a Smackdown PPV should do between 200 & 250. Whether or not this gets the annual pre-Mania upwards push depends on the card.
WrestleMania: At the very least this show will do between 600 & 700. Last year had a mega-card, but was sold on the strength of 4 matches. Star power and a good promotional push could bring the buys close to last year's levels.
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#9 Posted on 5.1.05 1623.01
Reposted on: 5.1.12 1625.32
I don't think 21 will do anywhere close to as bad as 13, but I don't see how it can surpass 19, which was really disappointing in its own right.

If you're right about NYR and the Rumble then I will be happy to admit what a dumb ol jerk I was. Good luck!
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#10 Posted on 5.1.05 1640.15
Reposted on: 5.1.12 1642.42
The main problem WWE needs to amend is to make the PPV's worth buying over watching the free TV shows with better and longer wrestling matches. There is a huge glut of PPV's that are just so terribly medicore. And that's why buyrates are going down.
Freeway
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#11 Posted on 5.1.05 1646.39
Reposted on: 5.1.12 1648.18
    Originally posted by The Vile1
    The main problem WWE needs to amend is to make the PPV's worth buying over watching the free TV shows with better and longer wrestling matches. There is a huge glut of PPV's that are just so terribly medicore. And that's why buyrates are going down.


Off the top of your head, name the main events (or notable happenings) for the WWE pay-per-views this year. I can think of Benoit winning the Rumble, Eddie winning the title, Benoit winning the title, Foley/Orton at Backlash, and Benoit shaking Orton's hand at SummerSlam. That's it. Out of 14 shows, 5 of them had really cool moments. That means 9 shows were just them going through the motions. That's nuts.
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#12 Posted on 5.1.05 1714.54
Reposted on: 5.1.12 1715.56
    Originally posted by Freeway420
      Originally posted by The Vile1
      The main problem WWE needs to amend is to make the PPV's worth buying over watching the free TV shows with better and longer wrestling matches. There is a huge glut of PPV's that are just so terribly medicore. And that's why buyrates are going down.


    Off the top of your head, name the main events (or notable happenings) for the WWE pay-per-views this year. I can think of Benoit winning the Rumble, Eddie winning the title, Benoit winning the title, Foley/Orton at Backlash, and Benoit shaking Orton's hand at SummerSlam. That's it. Out of 14 shows, 5 of them had really cool moments. That means 9 shows were just them going through the motions. That's nuts.


Its not just nuts Freeway420. For shows that cost 35 dollars, its unnacceptable, especially when the TV programs are consistently putting out BETTER TV moments and main events than the ppvs.

(edited by The Vile1 on 5.1.05 1516)
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#13 Posted on 6.1.05 1009.28
Reposted on: 6.1.12 1011.29
Doom and gloom is part of the forseeable future in the WWE landscape, but they are lucky enough to be financially secure and organized economically that they won't be going out of business any time soon.

Although in my time as a fan I never gave much notice to buyrates and ratings, that changed over the past few years as I started to follow these important aspects of the business end of wrestling. Just as much as the in-ring product has begun to suffer I'd expect the buy-rates for the big four shows are going to start to hurt as well.

That's a good thing however because I ASSUME it will open eyes in the company that they need to do something. Too bad it's a year away.

As much as this year was important for the WWE to make new stars, which they didn't, it becomes imperative they make them in 2005 or else 2006 might be the beginning of the end for them. And as important as new stars are on camera they need to find some new stars behind the scenes. Some writers and bookers and whatnot that can jumpstart this business all over again.

I think they are treading on very dangerous ground this year and the one after because kids are becoming smarter in every aspect and the supposed 28-34 year old market niche or whatever term marketing people use, that Meltzer contiues to write is the driving force right now might abandon them. If wrestling isn't cool, kids won't follow it because they're getting just a little sharper and maybe even cynical. Wrestling might just become a huge joke to the majority of kids in the next 3-5 years. They lose them ,a dntheir core audience gets older and dissillusioned, and then throw in economics of America and PPV buyrates and they better watch out.

And what about Japan, where MMA is sorta taking over or at least taking a bite out of pro wrestling? Could that happen here? UFC is getting their show after RAW and I believe Real Pro Wrestling will be a show on PAX? Stuff can blow up in a heartbeat. Take a look at reality TV. What if MMA becomes popular in the startes and if conservative whackos ont get their talons into it, it could do well, and then WWE starts to lose even more viewers or at least PPV buys...? Doesn't look good.
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#14 Posted on 6.1.05 1041.55
Reposted on: 6.1.12 1044.14
So the buyrates are down.... they've still got to be happy about Mania, which shows what a year's worth of advance marketing and a decent show can still get you.

The company is running low on big-draw matches because they haven't created enough new stars. It's not a new concept, and they will probably struggle for another couple of years until that happens. I still think there's enough time to make Cena a marketable star on the SmackDown side, which could help the SD buys, but ultimately, it comes down to stacking a PPV with names and matches people want to see. Other than a couple of events last year (No Way Out, WMXX and Backlash), I didn't see a lot of that.

But on the plus side... whatever they've lost on the PPV revenue side, I'd think that their reduced payroll and DVD sales would probably make up for it. Just a guess.
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#15 Posted on 6.1.05 1349.01
Reposted on: 6.1.12 1351.36
    Originally posted by TheGreekPhysique
    As much as this year was important for the WWE to make new stars, which they didn't, it becomes imperative they make them in 2005 or else 2006 might be the beginning of the end for them.


You know, I think it would take even longer than that. It's going to take very, very long for the E to sink. They have still been profitable in 2004, let's not forget that. None of those PPVs fell below the breaking point, so they all made money, even if not much in some cases. I'm sure they cancelled all the house shows that lost money. So unless things get decidedly worse, and I mean way worse, WWE will still be around for a long time.
Freeway
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#16 Posted on 6.1.05 1628.17
Reposted on: 6.1.12 1629.02
    Originally posted by Hogan's My Dad
      Originally posted by TheGreekPhysique
      As much as this year was important for the WWE to make new stars, which they didn't, it becomes imperative they make them in 2005 or else 2006 might be the beginning of the end for them.


    You know, I think it would take even longer than that. It's going to take very, very long for the E to sink. They have still been profitable in 2004, let's not forget that. None of those PPVs fell below the breaking point, so they all made money, even if not much in some cases. I'm sure they cancelled all the house shows that lost money. So unless things get decidedly worse, and I mean way worse, WWE will still be around for a long time.


The WWE is still making money, but they're turning smaller profits than the did in other years. So Vince will have to buy himself a smaller plane as a bonus this year.
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#17 Posted on 6.1.05 1727.17
Reposted on: 6.1.12 1728.49
well, I did say beginning of the end. not the end. the beginning of which could take a few years. I hope not. I even doubt it. But it's a possibility.

You can't compare WWE to WCW. I think there is more restraint there. This is Vince's money, not some corporations cash that Bischoff blew through cuz he didnt care in some all out ego war.

if good competition comes around though it could be bad for the WWEEEEE
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#18 Posted on 6.1.05 1730.59
Reposted on: 6.1.12 1735.00
    Originally posted by TheGreekPhysique
    if good competition comes around though it could be bad for the WWEEEEE


I'm sorry, but history has proven that's just wrong. The NWA was doing some awesome stuff in the 1970s and 1980s when Vince began consolidating the smaller territories. And WCW & WWF (and ECW, too) were all doing awesome stuff during the Monday Night Wars.

If anything, good competition is good for everybody.
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#19 Posted on 7.1.05 0853.35
Reposted on: 7.1.12 0856.05
I'm taking whats happening in Japan as a model, with MMA becoming more popular and people leaving wrestling (bad wrestling, i.e. AJ and NJ which is somewhat lame right now, to them, not me, I love it) in droves. I think this country is extremely cynical and have the "what's hot" mentality and if MMA really caught on people would laugh at pro wrestling and the casual fans would leave it for real people really kicking each others asses as opposed to bad skits, babyface date rapists and HBK's daisy dukes.
Hogan's My Dad
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#20 Posted on 7.1.05 2120.53
Reposted on: 7.1.12 2121.20
    Originally posted by TheGreekPhysique
    I'm taking whats happening in Japan as a model, with MMA becoming more popular and people leaving wrestling (bad wrestling, i.e. AJ and NJ which is somewhat lame right now, to them, not me, I love it) in droves. I think this country is extremely cynical and have the "what's hot" mentality and if MMA really caught on people would laugh at pro wrestling and the casual fans would leave it for real people really kicking each others asses as opposed to bad skits, babyface date rapists and HBK's daisy dukes.


So why exactly are they not laughing at it already? It's not like MMA proves wrestling is fixed, that was already known.

MMA is never going to bury pro wrestling, which hasn't left TV since TV was invented*. You either overestimating MMA, underestimating pro wrestling, or both.

*I can't back that up. But it's been at least thirty years.

(edited by Hogan's My Dad on 7.1.05 1922)
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