It’s no secret that WWE TV ratings have hit an all-time low over the entire year of 2018. In fact, the programming became literally unbearable at the very end of the year. No wonder why the audience was clearly frustrated with Monday Night Raw and wanted a change. Vince McMahon resurfaced on the scene alongside all other family members to take back charges and make things good.
But the fall in ratings existed and now the Chairman of the board has opened up on the potential reasons for the same. Vince McMahon attended a press conference to let us know about the fourth quarter revenues earned by WWE and addressed a big headache that the company is suffering.
The recent decrease in TV ratings and live event attendance was a direct effect of the absence of big names. A number of injuries at the same time have also been a huge reason for the record low ratings, as per the statement of Vince McMahon. The Boss clearly pointed out the fact that Roman Reigns was missing from the scene. When you do not get the franchise player on TV, a huge effect is bound to happen. WWE had a similar fallout, as well. Here’re the statements from The Boss regarding the Reigns and dropping of attendance in live events,
“It’s no different if you’re writing a soap opera and all of a sudden your main character wasn’t there. You’re in the middle of production, what do you do? You very nimbly change the storyline, but it’s not as good as the original one. Sometimes it is better because we’re pretty good at it, but those are things that we’re faced with, and one of the reasons why television ratings have dropped. And one of the reasons, obviously, from a live event standpoint, that’s dropped too. Because if you don’t have your favorites on television, obviously you can’t see them at a live event either.”
Vince McMahon continued to say that they expected John Cena more on the programming. But he was not available for the entire 2018 once Wrestlemania 34 passed by. Roman Reigns also had to leave the brand due to his Leukemia disease that had hampered the WWE Raw programming on a double rate,
“This year, leading up to where we are now, we’ve had an inornate number of injuries. And when you have injuries… you know, there’s a whole bunch of them. Roman Reigns being the principle among them. And even John Cena, not an injury type thing but we thought we were going to have John be more of a part of our programming than we do. John, God bless him, is making more movies. And even John, I would think, would say, ‘Geez, I thought I was going to spend more time with what I love to do,’ which is WWE. So, he’s been coming in and out, he’s not really a part of our storyline.”
The good part is that Vince McMahon and Co. still managed to find a lucrative profit despite these bad effects. As per the released stats by WWE, the company had an outstanding fourth quarter. Revenue generated from October to December 2018 are as follows:
Revenues increased 29% to $272.5 million as compared to the prior year quarter.
Operating income nearly doubled to $53.4 million from $27.0 million in the prior year quarter.
Adjusted OIBDA increased 57% to $64.4 million, exceeding Company guidance and representing an all-time record quarter.
WWE Network average paid subscribers increased 7% to approximately 1.59 million paid subscribers, consistent with Company guidance. (Credit to wrestlingINC.com for the stats and quotes).