On this week’s episode of “83 Weeks With Eric Bischoff,” Eric Bischoff explained why Nitro went from 2 hours to 3 hours in 1998.
“Truth though, it wasn’t my idea. It was forced upon me,” Eric revealed.
“It wasn’t me sitting in a room and going, ‘Hey, I know what, let’s do two hours every week instead of one.’ We were all thrilled with the performance we’re getting out of one hour and one hour is easily manageable. Two hours, when I found out from Brad Siegel, by the way, it was really Brad’s idea, and it probably had a lot to do with ad sales, too. They, all of a sudden, were getting hot, and we had more opportunities.”
“You know, for the first time in the history of Turner Broadcasting, they were actually able to sell advertising within wrestling and attract new sponsors. So Brad Siegel came to me one day and said, ‘Hey, guess what we’re going to do?’ ‘ What Brad? What?’ ‘We’re going to do two hours instead of one?’ ‘Why, Brad? Why?’ And the answer was, you know, you couldn’t argue with it.”
“The cost of doing one hour, and the cost of doing two hours was incrementally the same? I mean, there was a little difference, but not really. But the difference to the network was 24 commercials instead of 12 for the same amount of money, if you get my meaning. So from a network perspective, it was an economy of scale, which is why we ultimately went to three hours, because they could make even that much more money, right? We didn’t want to do a three hour show. That’s a frickin pay per view every week. We didn’t want to do that. But we didn’t get to vote.”
Other topics discussed on this episode include Eric firing Randy Anderson and the fallout from it, stripping the Steiners of the tag titles, Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Sullivan, Arn Anderson, and much more!