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The W - Pro Wrestling - WWE reveals Top 10 "most watched" WWE Network shows of the week
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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.10
Because I am old AND a NERD, it's almost fair to say that THIS was almost my REAL highlight of Monday's show. Almost snuck into the broadcast in a "Did You Know...?" spot, WWE gave us this graphic touting the most watched programs on the WWE Network last week:



Here's the text of the above slide:
MOST WATCHED SHOWS LAST WEEK ON NETWORK
1. WWE Legends House
2. WrestleMania 30
3. Warrior's Greatest Matches
4. Warrior: The Ultimate Legend
5. WWE Main Event
6. Journey to WM 30: Daniel Bryan
7. RAW Pre-Show
8. WWE NXT
9. Legends of WrestleMania: Warrior
10. RAW Backstage Pass

One of the things that I think has the potential to be so great for WWE coming out of the WWE Network is an unbridled opportuntity for a more direct collection of analytics from their paying customers than they've ever had before. Seeing what's swimming and what's sinking will allow them to not only tailor their future programming, but act with the confidence that they KNOW what's "in tune" with the paying audience, know what they like, and what they can exploit in order to get those folks to open up their wallets in the future, not to mention tell their friends and get THEM to hop onto the train.

I think WWE will keep a lot of their data hidden - as they should, because releasing what's essentially intellectual property for the sole purpose of satisfying MY curiosity PROBABLY isn't the best business move - but a tantalizing morsel here and there will really keep me excited...and probably starting threads like this one.

What I'd like to talk about RIGHT NOW is this list. What can we take from it?

(I should point out that I'm assuming none of the above list is a work - hopefully no grains of salt are necessary, but with WWE, you never know...)

1. Taking up a supermajority of these listing, it looks like the "live feed" is far and away preferred to "on demand" when it comes to consuming WWEN. This makes sense because the more casual fans (1) may not be as interested in surfing/pressing a lot of buttons to consume content, but more importantly, (2) they CAN be conditioned to "tune in" at certain times to catch a show - whether or not they will KEEP tuning in will probably depend on whether or not WWE can keep their content compelling.

2. Along those lines, the "actually live" show (RAW)'s pre- and post- show make the list, but the Smackdown equivalents don't. It would be interesting to see if they make the lower half of the list on a non-Warrior week...or if people know there really isn't a good reason to devote more of their Friday nights to taped shows wrapped around a taped show.

3. Legends House was #1? I'm a LITTLE surprised, but then again, we've probably established that the older, moneyed, "nostalgia" crowd is a significant chunk of investors in this product. So...did anybody here watch it? We didn't get a thread, so I just assumed no. (I still haven't watched it. I'm not sure I can deal with any more "reality" programming, especially after giving up on "Total Divas" after the first season) On the other hand, if ANYTHING in this is a work, it'd be this: WWE's way of telling all the networks who passed on paying some rights to broadcast it "nyah nyah, look what you missed out on, these [possibly fake] ratings could have been YOURS!"

4. Does NXT placing so high indicate people are hungry for something they're not getting on the big shows? And, if so, are they getting it?

5. Is Daniel Bryan's placement in this list a validation that folks really like Daniel Bryan as a face of this company or is it more that this happened to be what was on the live stream at the time? Or perhaps a bit of both?

I hope this is something WWE will give us every week so we could see if any trends are emerging - but, again, they may not want us to see all their cards and I would totally understand them keeping this data private. (I bet somebody leaks it to the sheetz, eventually, though.)

On the analytics tip, I'm greedy. My wishlist includes:
  • Which PPVs are getting the most streaming action?

  • Of those, which are watched from start to finish, and which ones are only starting and ending with particular matches or segments?

  • Are people watching more WWF, or WCW, or ECW, or is there any noticeable pattern? (If there IS, can we use that data to figure out what people want on TODAY'S show that they're no longer getting, resulting in them having to watch the old shows?)

  • For instance, let's imagine people are sucking down light heavyweight/cruiserweight action like nobody's business - would this be enough of a sign to Triple H that he would start building a division in NXT with the intent that the WWE belt would be re-introduced and we'd have those matches on the big stage within six months or a year?

  • Or women's matches

  • Or midget matches...you get the idea

I am hopeful that WWE is devoting an entire team to studying just HOW their product is being consumed - and then generating useful strategies for how to enhance their CURRENT product based on what their captive paying audience of the Network is telling them.

TO BE CONTINUED?

(edited by CRZ on 23.4.14 1530)


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Since: 27.6.02

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.27
They were unaware of the demand for old ECW & WCW PPVs, which ended up causing their initial roll-out problems, and now they're going back and "fixing" the New Jack removals and music issues.

Adam Rose, Paige, Rusev, Emma and Bo Dallas have all been called up, which may be an indication that internally they weren't sure about them before the Network started up

Plus RVD is the only viable ECW star left, and he's in the Intercontinental #1 contender finals, so you might be on to something.



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thecubsfan
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Since: 10.12.01
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.39
This answers almost none of your questions, but I recall one of the observer guys mentioning early on that WWE was surprised about the amount of people who were watching old WCW PPVs when the network launched. It was more than they were expecting at the time, but I wonder if that maintained that way or if people got the nostalgia out of their system.

The list indicates what they push on TV as things to see on the network are what the subscribers go out of their way to watch. Main Event usually gets a better match than Superstars, but to so much that one should be on the list and the other isn't. They devoted TV time to advertising the Warrior specials and the Daniel Bryan documentary, and have brought up Legends House for years. If there's something they need people to see, they can get their subscribers to check it out.



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BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.83
I watched, being an old guy, a lot of old WCW PPVs and ECW TV, original Raws and the old WWF house show stuff. Being an Xbox user a lot of stuff wasn't up right away, I probably would have caught up on old Wrestle Manias like I assume many people did.

I have a hard time believing Legends House was first, but what do I know.
Tenken347
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Since: 27.2.03
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.26
I can see Legends House being number one in its debut week - they've been hyping the ever-loving shit out of it, so I'm sure it got more that a few curiosity hits. It'll be more interesting to see where it falls next week. As far as your question number 4, CRZ, speaking completely anecdotally, this is exactly the case for me. NXT gives me real women's wrestling, insightful commentary, and guys with interesting gimmicks, all of which have been missing for a long time on RAW and Smackdown. It looks like at least one of those items is bleeding over to the main roster (I'll leave it to you to guess which one I'm referring to), but overall NXT is a substantially different product that I really love. It's my favorite wrestling show of the week.
odessasteps
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Since: 2.1.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.78

do we think this list is accurate or a work?

(if it's on tv, ...)



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ekedolphin
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Since: 12.1.02
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.93
For what it's worth, I, personally, have been watching a lot of old WCW and WWE pay-per-views. (Haven't so much as touched ECW, actually. Any suggestions for a good "starter" PPV for ECW?)

I've come to a surprising realization: My favorite "era" of WWE is this one!



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Hokienautic
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Since: 2.1.02
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.84
    Originally posted by thecubsfan
    The list indicates what they push on TV as things to see on the network are what the subscribers go out of their way to watch. Main Event usually gets a better match than Superstars, but to so much that one should be on the list and the other isn't. They devoted TV time to advertising the Warrior specials and the Daniel Bryan documentary, and have brought up Legends House for years. If there's something they need people to see, they can get their subscribers to check it out.


Ding. Ding. Ding. That's pretty much all you can get from this list.
SKLOKAZOID
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Since: 20.3.02
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.58
Boy, was I wrong about the live stream. I thought on-demand would win out, but a lot of nights I'll pull up my iPhone in bed and just watch whatever's on the stream. Beats reading a book and makes me smarter, I think.


Count me in as another person who, when I first signed up, went straight for the old WCW content. Things I hadn't seen in years, and a lot of them are the live PPV versions (and not the Turner Home Video releases) to boot. Having access to all of the classic Sting/Flair, Sting/Muta, Flair/Steamboat stuff on a whim made me feel powerful.

Still working my way through WCW 1992 and plan on tackling 1993 after that.

I think WCW's popularity is already having an effect on the network because this past week, they were playing Spring Stampede '97 and Spring Stampede '98 and I've never had any desire to go back and watch those, but the popularity of WCW content kind of explains why they're running that.


Another thing I did was watch all of the WrestleManias I'd missed when I took my sabbatical from watching wrestling on a regular basis. I bet a lot of the stuff off of the top 10 was old WrestleManias, because they streamed those on the network constantly until the WM30.


My NXT viewing has tapered off with all of the WrestleMania 30, Warrior media, and other stuff that's been made in March/April. I need to get back into the swing of things with that.


I don't know if the list is accurate, but the titles on that list don't surprise me. Maybe the order, a little bit. Legends House seems to have the broad appeal that I can see attracting the larger audience to it. Even if you don't know who Pat Patterson or Hacksaw Jim Duggan are, the fact that it's a WWE reality show already cements an audience. If there's one thing I've learned working in the TV business, it's that people love any reality show that seems like a GTA-style parody of itself (examples: Breaking Amish, Naked and Afraid).

(edited by SKLOKAZOID on 23.4.14 2032)
Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.14
I got around to Legends House last night. It was OK. I tried to watch episode 2 which is in the can and on the schedule for tomorrow, but you can't stream it until after it "airs".

Not sure about that.




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Since: 27.6.02

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.27
I think Legends House would be more fun with Hillbilly Jim as the oldest guy. Septuagenarians do not make for compelling television.



"Tattoos are the mullets of the aughts." - Mike Naimark



"Don't stop after beating the swords into ploughshares, don't stop! Go on beating and make musical instruments out of them. Whoever wants to make war again will have to turn them into ploughshares first" - Yehuda Amichai
Tenken347
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Since: 27.2.03
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.26
    Originally posted by ekedolphin
    Any suggestions for a good "starter" PPV for ECW?


Truthfully, the best ECW stuff really predates their move to PPV. Barely Legal is great, but I don't know if the matches really stand up on their own, or if you really need the build up from the angles (especially the year+ build to Taz/Sabu). Other that the first one, though, the ECW PPVs don't have a ton of appeal. They're just starting to get to the really interesting stuff on Hardcore TV in the vault section on the network, but 1995-1997 is really the best of ECW, at least in my opinion.
Dr Unlikely
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.55
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    I got around to Legends House last night. It was OK. I tried to watch episode 2 which is in the can and on the schedule for tomorrow, but you can't stream it until after it "airs".

    Not sure about that.
From a programmer's point of view, I can see the value in "training" the audience to get back into (or, for the truly, young, learn at all) the "appointment television"/destination mindset, since there's a limited amount of PPV material at the moment that someone could theoretically burn through in six months that would take away the Instant Watch value add (the "watch something because I'm bored and this is here" viewer model). You want to talk an audience willing to carve out time to watch on Sundays and Monday (but not Fridays) that there is "new" content coming Tuesday through Thursday that you can't binge watch and have to keep subscribing to get.

Now, whether that content is any good or not...What I *think* they need to do is exploit another popular current model, which is, getting people who should be getting paid to do things for free. They have a deep pool of entertaining people who already work as non-salaried drones and are hungry to get a crack at the big time. As long as they can find people willing to do it, they should be pressing their Zack Ryders and Dolph Zigglers and JBL/Coles and Aidens English to create free content for them to fill in the prime time and late night "live" blocks to see what moves the needle, dangle the carrot for them and (maybe most importantly?) test out the writers and producers involved with these segments to see what actually works and how the TV product might be able to evolve (to, basically, do whatever it is Jeff Jarrett thinks he wants to do, only with actual money and talented, non-fictional people behind it). If there's one thing missing from HHH's otherwise great view of the future of the company, it's grooming or uncovering a replacement for the Dunn style that has served them well but will need to change sooner rather than later.

I can buy Legends House in week 1 as the biggest show, since they've been talking about it forever an it was, essentially, the only Network show idea they had. (It seemed like every iteration of Network pitches in various formats was "Special events! Cutting edge reality series such as Legends House and...uh...more!") For the reasons above, I can also see the value of "helping" it "get" to be "#1", too. So who knows?

I haven't watched it, though. I might have if I didn't know how long it's been in the can, and I can see it becoming something to watch once they realize they have to keep programming it as an idea (and if they get past the cloning reality show crutch, I could see a "follow around Legends as Ambassadors and get a genuine look at these weird, terrifying, charismatic old dudes" being a genuinely arresting bit of Streaming Content, but I can't see them making that leap for some time). I might still be willing to watch now, but probably only if we had a dedicated thread in the style of the Total Divas Recap threads here, I guess.

On old content, yep, I'd be fascinated to know what old PPV material was really moving things in the first few months, particularly the outliers. Old WCW and ECW material shouldn't have been surprising (it was surprising because the people in charge can't fathom the idea that people think on their own) since it represents something different and would both appease the core audience of aging nostalgiasts with money and the young/new fans for whom this is exotic. I've only watched one old PPV so far and went right for the thing that, to me, felt like the best single time capsule for the past: Starrcade '89: FUTURE SHOCK. That, to me, felt like the best possible starting point from a number of reasons, from how stacked the card is with people who really represent the "opposition" to the current product and dynasty (it's hard to get non-WWE than Sting/Luger/Muta/Doom/Rick Steinger/Pre-Crisis Scott Steiner/Doom/Terry Funk In A Tux) and the presentation is weird and cool and alien (a PPV that is a round robin, points-scored tournament is aggresively against WWF/WWE norms, and that lo-fi but badass stage with the neon lights that WWE should steal ASAP for an NXT special event).
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Since: 18.7.02
From: Brantford, Ontario, Canada

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.97
    Originally posted by thecubsfan
    Main Event usually gets a better match than Superstars, but to so much that one should be on the list and the other isn't.


The problem with Superstars is it usually has two matches, and sometimes only one. 50-75% of the show is Raw recaps. If you just watch the original content, you are done in 10 minutes. It is miles below Main Event in quality.
Quezzy
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Since: 6.1.02
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.63
    Originally posted by Tenken347
      Originally posted by ekedolphin
      Any suggestions for a good "starter" PPV for ECW?


    Truthfully, the best ECW stuff really predates their move to PPV. Barely Legal is great, but I don't know if the matches really stand up on their own, or if you really need the build up from the angles (especially the year+ build to Taz/Sabu).


One of the first things I did when I got WWE Network was look up all of Raven's matches because I was a big fan of his and was really disappointed by what I found. Apparently their PPV era comes after Raven/Dreamer and Raven/Sandman. I did watch the PPV matches that Raven was in when he returned to ECW but wasn't impressed by much other than the Impact Players in one match.

This is why I'd also be interested in what PPVs are being watched all the way through and which are only being viewed for certain segments. I've looked up individuals or particular matches a lot more than I've watched entire PPVs. In fact, I think WM 30 is the only full PPV I've watched.



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Since: 2.1.02
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.09
Legends house was almost exactly what I expected it to be. Gary Busey showing up, not so much.





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Since: 22.2.04
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.46
I watched 5 minutes of Legends House; not my cup of tea.

My favorite stuff on WWE Network so far: Livestream, WWE PPVs, WrestleMania 30, D-Bryan Special, Warrior Week, Old School, Legends of Wrestling/WrestleMania, Best of Hall of Fame, old RAW and SmackDown shows.



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Since: 11.2.03
From: Hackettstown, NJ

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.69
    Originally posted by CRZ

    1. Taking up a supermajority of these listing, it looks like the "live feed" is far and away preferred to "on demand" when it comes to consuming WWEN.


Emphasis on "looks like". This list doesn't really support that conclusion.

Let's say that 80% of WWEN subscribers spend all of their time watching old stuff, and the remaining 20% spend all of their time watching the new live feed stuff. Well, the 20% will mostly be watching the same thing, and they'll be concentrated on times when there's something relevant going on, like the Raw pre/post shows, Legends House, and of course the shows with actual wrestling in them. Meanwhile, the 80% will be divided up among, what, 100 different PPV shows, plus tons of Raws and whatever. So it's very possible that the on demand has more viewers--maybe way more--but the live feed shows are in the top ten.

(This would make a good example for my LSAT or GMAT classes!)
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