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The W - Guest Columns - TV Ratings Spike - Analysis
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skorpio17
Morcilla








Since: 11.7.02
From: New Jersey

Since last post: 2387 days
Last activity: 2387 days
#1 Posted on
TV Ratings Analysis: Is there a post-PPV Spike?

The long held conventional wisdom is that there is a ratings spike the week after a Wrestling PPV. The reason is fans that didn't order the PPV will eagerly tune in for the results and to find out if there is a new champion. And casual fans will also tune in to see the new storylines that will be introduced. Not one to assume anything, I will analyze the post-PPV TV ratings for 2001 to see if this PPV Spike Theory holds true.
First lets look at the WCW Post-PPV Nitros to see if any ratings spike exists. They had 3 PPVs in 2001. Here is the change in ratings for those weeks following the PPVs.
1/15/2001 -0.5
2/19/2001 -0.6
3/19/2001 0.0

So the ratings spike is -.37. Hmm…this was not expected. So, maybe the ratings spike is a myth. Or maybe WCW Nitro was so bad, that nothing they did could spike the ratings. Well, lets look at the WWF instead.
I think I made my ratings more accurate by using the combined ratings of Raw and Smackdown for the week, instead of just the standard Raw rating. Both ratings are strongly correlated and Smackdown viewers count too.
Here are the results in the ratings of the week following each PPV compared with the prior week:
Rumble 0.8
No Way Out -0.2
Wrestlemania 17 1.0
Backlash -0.3
Judgement Day -0.4
King of the Ring 0.6
Invasion 0.8
Summerslam 0.0
Unforgiven -0.3
No Mercy 0.2
Survivor Series 1.3
Vengeance -0.7
So the average PPV spike exists but is only .23 ratings points. But, if you look closer, you see the traditional big 5 PPVs had a big spike of 0.74. While the "off-season" PPVs had a negative spike of -0.13.
So, the real conclusion is that a ratings spike is non-existent for all but the big 5 PPVs. And the spike for the Big 5 PPVs is roughly 750,000 households, a very sizable number.
The reason I give for this is fans on a limited budget only buy the big 5 PPVs, not all 12. If these fans really liked the PPV this recharges their interest in the WWF and they watch the next week. And some fans only start watching again after a big PPV, like Wrestlemania, when mainstream media coverage reminds them of their interest.
Also, interesting here is that Invasion was one of the biggest selling PPVs of the year. It was so big that it spiked the ratings as if it was a Big 5 PPV.
For those curious, the three weeks of the year with the best ratings were: 4/22/01 =10.6 (week after WM17), 1/22/01 = 10.5 (week after Rumble), 7/30/01 = 10.4 (2 weeks after Invasion, very hot angle).

The three worst ratings weeks were 12/31/01 = 6.2 (Raw Highlight Show, top 10 matches for 2001 shown on New Year’s Eve. Nobody watched it. Thanks for going out drinking guys.), 12/24/01 = 7.1 (Jericho Title Run – Poorly Booked), 6/11/01 = 7.3 (Pre-KotR, Benoit and Jericho finally get their push, too little too late).

In conclusion, the ratings spike can only be counted the week after a Big 5 PPV or a monster PPV that sells like a big 5. In other words, if you expect to see a ratings spike for the Raw after Vengeance, you will be disappointed.



-Brian Popkin
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Llakor
Landjager








Since: 2.1.02
From: Montreal, Quebec, CANADA

Since last post: 539 days
Last activity: 530 days
AIM:  
#2 Posted on
That's interesting, but I would rather have seen the raw RAW & SMACKDOWN numbers as well as the combined. It could be argued, and I have no way of knowing if it's true, that a piss-poor RAW after a PPV could kill a post-PPV Smackdown. In an anylsis like this I would also like to see the ratings of the Raw/Smackdown prior to the PPV to see the basis for the spike/drop-off.

Don't get me wrong, your analysis of the numbers is interesting, but I would still like to see more of the numbers to see whether I agree with the analysis.



"Don't Blame CANADA, Blame Yourselves!"
thecubsfan
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

Since last post: 12 hours
Last activity: 6 min.
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
>First lets look at the WCW Post-PPV Nitros to see if any
>ratings spike exists. They had 3 PPVs in 2001.

Holy skewed sample, Batman!

I think you really need a lot larger sample here to hope for accuracy in that department...

Click Here for WWF/E RAW Ratings Histroy, and Click Here for WCW Nitro histories.

And counting RAW and Smackdown together probably hurts the accuracy - if they were really wondering what happened at the PPV, they'd tune in on Monday, not wait a few days to find out.
skorpio17
Morcilla








Since: 11.7.02
From: New Jersey

Since last post: 2387 days
Last activity: 2387 days
#4 Posted on
Alright, I think I wrote a great column. And I will bet that the Ratings Spike only holds following a Big 5 PPV.
I am also telling you that people who watch Raw also watch Smackdown. Unless they don't get TNN or UPN, I can't think of anyone who watches one, but not the other. If they stop watching, they stop watching both shows. I say there is a direct correlation between the ratings for both shows.

But, anyway since everyone is taking the time to read my column, I figure I should satisfy the readers and not do a half-assed job. So today, I'm at work with an excel spreadsheet, internet access, and a boss in another room.
I'll do an analysis of the (Monday shows only) after the 12 WWF and 12 WCW PPVs from 2000. Be back later. thanks for reading.




-Brian Popkin
chazerizer
Italian








Since: 11.7.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 4368 days
Last activity: 824 days
AIM:  
#5 Posted on
thanks, I was kinda wondering about that. Where do you get your ratings numbers from?

skorpio17
Morcilla








Since: 11.7.02
From: New Jersey

Since last post: 2387 days
Last activity: 2387 days
#6 Posted on
Follow-up on my Column:

I originally got my data from a PWI - 2001 Year in Review issue (I only bought it for reading material on a plane flight to Aruba.) And I looked at Rajahwwf.com (I don't recommend that site at all). For followup, otherarena.com has pretty good info. (Correction: The Vengeance PPV had a ratings decrease of -.1, not -.7 which was incorrect.)

After determining no PPV ratings spike for WCW in 3 2001 PPVs, now I'll look at 11 post-PPV Nitros they had in 2000. (The 12/18 Nitro following a PPV was pre-empted and shown on 12/19, so I won't count it.) The ratings changes are -.4, -.8, -.1, -.6, .3, .4, .3, -.1, -.4, .3, and .1.
The average spike for WCW 2000 is -.09. No effect. It can also be said that WCW PPV buy rate for 2000 was a shitty .17. Even ECW PPVs did better than that. Since so few people bought the PPV, we can't expect a ratings spike.

The new WWF ratings changes for 2001 which only include Raw and not Smackdown are as follows. (From Jan. to Dec.)
.26, .21, 1.01, -.18, -.30, .44, .22, 0.00, -.33,
.19, .69, and .48. Using this method, the Big 5 PPVs had an average spike of .48, not the .74 composite. And the off-season PPVs had a spike of -.01, still no effect. So, the Big 5 PPV spike had the effect of a 10% ratings increase for Raw.

Interesting changes here are that the Invasion PPV only raised the Raw rating by .22, but the Smackdown rating improved by .58 as the angle was gaining momentum.
The Vengeance PPV did increase the Raw rating by .48 as everyone tuned in to see who the first Undisputed Champion was, but the ratings for Thursdays Smackdown decreased by
-.6 after people found out it was Jericho and turned off their tv sets.

And even after factoring out smackdown ratings my Top 3 and bottom 3 rated weeks still holds true.






-Brian Popkin
Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 176 days
Last activity: 176 days
#7 Posted on
I know plenty of people who only devote one night a week (be it Thursday or Monday) to watching wrestling. I'm one of them. I have better things to do on Thursday nights. The split was working great for me until HHH ended up on MY show.

-Jag



"You gotta hate somebody before this is over. Them, me, it doesn't matter."

"Hate, who do I hate? You tell me."

"Who do you love?"

-Wintermute to Case in William Gibson's Neuromancer
thecubsfan
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

Since last post: 12 hours
Last activity: 6 min.
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
>but the ratings for Thursdays Smackdown decreased by
>-.6 after people found out it was Jericho and turned off
>their tv sets.

See, that line alone was worth the whole read.

Good work.
Saruman
Salami








Since: 25.1.02
From: Kirksville, MO

Since last post: 4433 days
Last activity: 4403 days
AIM:  
#9 Posted on
So, my question is:
Does this mean the relatively large jump in ratings for the wwE after the (assumed) relatively average buyrate mean that more people might actually be intrigued by Bischoff rather than hate him?





"I'm bi a lot of things, but lingual's not one of them."

thecubsfan
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

Since last post: 12 hours
Last activity: 6 min.
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
I bet you'll get an answer next Tuesday.
oldschoolhero
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: nWo Country

Since last post: 1965 days
Last activity: 1899 days
#11 Posted on
THAT would be funny.






Old School's Film Quote O' The Week-"This story's gonna grab people! It's about this guy, he's crazy about this girl, but he likes to wear dresses. Should he tell her? Should he not tell her!? He's torn, Georgie! This is drama!
"-Jonny Depp as Edward D. Wood, Jr., Ed Wood. Or is it Vince Russo upon his triumphant return to WWE-Land?

skorpio17
Morcilla








Since: 11.7.02
From: New Jersey

Since last post: 2387 days
Last activity: 2387 days
#12 Posted on
I think that people hate Bischoff, but are very interested to see what he will do next. I've gotta give him much credit for the ratings jump so far. Other factors that will help are putting a ladder match on Raw. If I had friends sitting on the fence, I'd call them before the match to get them to watch. Also, the Rock as the champ on Raw can only help ratings. It was 4.3, up from 3.8.
I'm expecting another 4.3 tonight. tune in tomorrow.



    Originally posted by Saruman
    So, my question is:
    Does this mean the relatively large jump in ratings for the wwE after the (assumed) relatively average buyrate mean that more people might actually be intrigued by Bischoff rather than hate him?





-Brian Popkin
thecubsfan
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

Since last post: 12 hours
Last activity: 6 min.
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00

    Originally posted by Saruman
    So, my question is:
    Does this mean the relatively large jump in ratings for the wwE after the (assumed) relatively average buyrate mean that more people might actually be intrigued by Bischoff rather than hate him?



Survery says....NO. (3.7)

Thanks for playing, we have some lovely parting gifts for you.
skorpio17
Morcilla








Since: 11.7.02
From: New Jersey

Since last post: 2387 days
Last activity: 2387 days
#14 Posted on
Looks like I was wrong about the ratings.
I thought they were putting on great shows and that Raw was gaining an audience. But, it looks like it was a one time
PPV spike. my bad...



-Brian Popkin
thecubsfan
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

Since last post: 12 hours
Last activity: 6 min.
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
You know what would be intersting? To see the average change from post-PPV Raw to next Raw. If there's a PPV boost, there'd be a dropoff each week, and we might be able to tell something by comparing the levels of drop off.
WyldeWolf1
Boerewors








Since: 20.6.02
From: Florida

Since last post: 4409 days
Last activity: 4409 days
#16 Posted on
The Jericho comment had me thinking....

Is there a difference in post-PPV Raws featuring new champions when the new champ is a face vs a heel?

Your average fan may have tuned in and said "Awww, that ain't Stone Cold. He's my favorite; I don't want to watch if he ain't the champ!"

I've actually heard that, by the way.



WyldeWolf1
The Man of 1,008 holds, making him 3 holds better than Chris Jericho!
skorpio17
Morcilla








Since: 11.7.02
From: New Jersey

Since last post: 2387 days
Last activity: 2387 days
#17 Posted on
To summarize my original column regarding the 2001 Post-PPV Raw Raitings: The average PPV spike exists but is only .19 ratings points. Looking closer, we see the traditional big 5 PPVs had a spike of 0.48. The 7 "off-season" PPVs had a negative spike of -0.01.

Following this line of reasoning we would expect the next Raw after this one or the Post-Post PPV Raw to have a spike in the opposite direction to regress to the mean.
For the 12 PPVs of 2001, the post-post PPV spike is -.17, close to what we expected. The Big 5 was -.22 while the other 7 was -.14.

Interesting outliers are the The Post-Post-Invasion Raw (7/30/01) had a the biggest gain of .43 signifying the increasing success in the angle. The Post-Post-Vengence Raw (12/17/01) had the biggest loss of -.68 reflecting the lack of ratings success for the Jericho championship run.

I also agree that a heel champion can be a turn off to fans. That is why I’d expect better ratings for the current episodes featuring a babyface Rock as the champion. Of course the other argument can be made that fans would be more inclined to watch the face chase the heel for the title. And that argument could point to the title run of a babyface Diesel which was largely considered a failure.








    Originally posted by thecubsfan
    You know what would be intersting? To see the average change from post-PPV Raw to next Raw. If there's a PPV boost, there'd be a dropoff each week, and we might be able to tell something by comparing the levels of drop off.




-Brian Popkin
JustinShapiro
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 8 hours
Last activity: 5 hours
#18 Posted on
"Interesting outliers are the The Post-Post-Invasion Raw (7/30/01) had a the biggest gain of .43 signifying the increasing success in the angle."

The post-post-Invasion Raw was when the Rock came back. It was all downhill from there, which doesn't really signify increasing success. And Invasion wasn't just a run of the mill In Your House-type show, it was one of the top ten most successful PPVs ever.

"The Post-Post-Vengence Raw (12/17/01) had the biggest loss of -.68 reflecting the lack of ratings success for the Jericho championship run."

The rest of the ratings with Jericho as champion all the way to March are all in the 4.4-4.7 range. I think what killed the 12/17 show in particular was that they took Ratings Draw Austin out of the ring and sent him to the church with Booker T. That was 12/17, right?

"I also agree that a heel champion can be a turn off to fans."

Check out the post-PPV Raws with face Steve Austin challening for the World Title (vs. Kane in '98, Undertaker in '99, Jericho in '01).

In 2001, they got big post-PPV bumps when they had some huge stips or new angle for people to tune in for -- WrestleMania (plus it was the first week without competition so a lot of the Nitro audience tuned in but didn't stick around), KOR - WCW, Invasion fallout, Survivor Series' draconian stips, Vengeance with the unification and a rematch with Austin -- but didn't when they didn't.

(edited by JMShapiro on 1.8.02 0902)
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