WWE’s Raw and SmackDown programming have been dealing with lower TV ratings and viewerships for a long time. The coronavirus pandemic and absence of the audience have recently taken the ratings to the lowest of low. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon seems to be optimistic about WWE’s ability to improve those despite the negative impact of COVID-19 continues.
During the annual shareholder’s meeting, an investor asked Vince McMahon about continuous downward going ratings of WWE TV. He also questioned whether the management plans to improve those ratings on a long-term basis for Raw and SmackDown. The Boss took the question and pointed out WWE’s impressive track record in the past to counter these problems.
“Even in the most challenging environments with no live audience. The media ecosystem obviously has changed, and we change with it.
Our engagement metrics across platforms are understandably, and obviously, however, the importance of linear programming is paramount in all of our businesses. We consistently have seen year-over-year increases in a variety of digital metrics and engagement, and positive trends have continued, even during COVID.”
Vince McMahon also mentioned how RAW has remained the #1 show on the USA Network and SmackDown has held the top spots among key demographics throughout the coronavirus pandemic. There’s been no live TV audience or tours that were made bringing a monotonous condition but the programming has always been consistent enough.
“Conversely, TV viewership trends have been negatively impacted by the COVID, obviously, and note the lack of a live audience,” Vince said. “We are still nonetheless the #1 television show on USA [Network] and consistently the #1 broadcast show on Fridays among key demos.”
“We expect a combination of valuable promotional inventory from our TV partners with the return of sports events programming, and a deep roster of charismatic talent will have a positive impact on viewership over the longterm.”
We should note that never before in the history of Monday Night Raw, the TV ratings have dipped this much. At the same time, there hasn’t been a global pandemic in the history of mankind, as well. The good thing is that WWE always stuck to its promise to bring entertainment to the audience without a break.
They didn’t stop taping contents for even a single Raw, SmackDown episode, or a PPV knowing that the situation isn’t in their favor, at all. Basically, the TV deals have been the only source of income for WWE in time of this pandemic as they had to stop conducting live TV shows.
So they couldn’t stop airing shows. Hopefully, the return of the live audience would help McMahon and Co to make a bounce back in terms of ratings.