Former WCW President and co-host of the 83 Weeks podcast Eric Bischoff recently discussed WWE’s PPV strategy on this week’s episode of the show. Bischoff would compare the way that PPV was utilised back in the late 90’s/early 2000’s to the way that it is being presented today.
Eric Bischoff on PPV
“I need to be careful when I say here so it’s not kind of inside knowledge that I’ve was able to gain over of the few months that I was there. I may figure out how to say this without getting myself in trouble,” Bischoff began. Back in the late 90s when I was involved with the industry; WCW pay per view was a minimum 25% of your revenue. It was as I discussed before, you know, wrestling, sports entertainment, professional wrestling whatever you want to call it. When it’s firing on all cylinders, and purring and things are running flawlessly? Generally speaking, again this is back in the 90s. 25% of your revenue would come from ticket sales, 25% of your revenue would come from your television. And 25% of your revenue would come from licencing and merchandising. The final 25% came from ticket sales, those are your four legs on your stool, right?”
Bischoff would then discuss WWE’s strategy towards PPV now in the Network era. “I think in today’s environment? That number has changed dramatically. Part of it is because of, you know, streaming and technology and other revenue opportunities. But the model for sports entertainment has changed so drastically over the last 10 or 15 years that pay per view is just not as significant a part of the business than it once was. Other things are becoming more significant. Other things are becoming more important. And I think as a result? A couple things have happened. One is there’s less emphasis on story. Why, because there’s less emphasis on the pay per view. Instead of, you know, back in the day when…let’s just go back to the period of time where I was active in the business. You know, you got a pay per view every month. So the formula was pretty simple. Act one, act two and act three. Act one, act two and the first half of act three played out on television. The last half of Act Three? The ending of the movie, if you will, the final half hour of a feature film? That was your pay per view.”
If you use any of the quotes from this article credit Eric Bischoff/83 Weeks podcast; with a h/t to WrestlingNews for the transcription.