Former executive director of SmackDown, Eric Bischoff, recently gave his thoughts on All Elite Wrestling’s Dynamite and WWE NXT’s ratings and viewership numbers and discussed what the AEW show should do to make their show successful in the ratings department.
On his 83 Weeks podcast, Bischoff said that while the numbers that AEW does, which is under a million viewers a week, look good, they are not that great. At least not for a major cable outlet. They are also not that great from a competitive position with WWE, according to Eric.
“Let’s be realistic. They are still coming in under a million viewers a week, and they’re coming in under a million viewers a week on a major cable outlet that typically does a bigger number than that. More importantly, they’re delivering under a million viewers a week within a genre, sports entertainment, professional wrestling, whatever you want to call it, that is typically not really an advertising-friendly platform. So while those numbers look good, look great, look fantastic, from a competitive position with WWE, from an ad sales position, particularly in primetime, it’s not a pretty number yet.”
Bischoff compared Dynamite to Nitro and said that Nitro had a lower viewership and it grew with time. If Dynamite can grow like that in the coming months then they’ll get attention from other networks and more advertisers.
“It’s a good number, it’s a solid number, and if they can build upon that number and grow it, like Nitro did, and I think here’s a really, here’s a better comparison. I think if you go back and look at the debut of Nitro unopposed, I think we came in around a 2.5 or 2.6, which even back then, represented almost two million viewers, two million plus viewers. But once RAW came back and we were going head-to-head, we were living in that 2.4, 2.5, 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.3, we were growing, our audience was building as opposed to staying flat, and what I’ve seen so far from AEW is, they’re numbers are essentially flat.”
“If AEW can go from where they are now which is, I think the last week I looked at was around 950,000 viewers or so, if they can start building upon that where six months from now or a year from now they’re at 1.5 million, now you have a viable business because other networks are going to look at that and go, ‘Wow, that audience is growing.’ If they’ve gone from 950,000 viewers on average, fluctuations week to week, but over the course of six to eight months they’ve built upon that 950,000 and now they’re doing 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, kind of like Nitro did, now they actually have something that’s real. But until that happens, it’s still kind of a wait and see for me,” Bischoff added.
He also talked about WWE NXT ratings and said that he doesn’t imagine USA Network being too happy with the show’s numbers, which is around 700,000 to 800,000 viewers. He also added that NXT has a major advantage over Dynamite which is that it is promoted on Raw and SmackDown which are the main shows of the company, but the fact that the numbers are still under a million is disappointing, according to Bischoff.
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