As technology continues to advance and the world continues to change, there remains the possibility that all WWE programming could end up moving off television, but is it closer than we think? In the last few months, the ratings for both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live have plummeted, which may bring about desperate measures and even another end to the brand extension. If numbers continue to drop, it could mean no more WWE on TV at all.
Ever since WrestleMania 33 in early April, the ratings for both of their big TV shows have continued to drop and sort of hit a stopping point and stay low. Some superstars have returned, while others have been brought in to help ratings go up, but nothing has really worked at all.
While WWE may not be overly and desperately worried about it right now, there is going to come a time when something drastic needs to be done. According to Pop Culture, Vince McMahon may actually have the resolution already in hand, but it could mean a huge change in the way the company has done things for decades.
It could mean taking all WWE programming off TV and moving it to the WWE Network and possibly Facebook.
On Thursday, WWE released their Q2 results for 2017, and there were some rather staggering numbers to take in. While it is publicly known that ratings have been in a steep decline, the numbers for the WWE Network have shot up in a huge way with more than 1.63 million average paid subscribers.
That’s a full 8 percent increase from that same time period in 2016.
CBS Chicago reports that WWE’s online presence is doing nothing but growing in huge amounts and in a short amount of time. With more than 9.1 billion views of WWE’s videos on Facebook and YouTube in the first six months of 2017, a complete transition to a digital format may not be too far off.
According to Decider, the current deal between WWE and USA Network expires at the end of September, 2019, and that is for both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live. USA pays around $140 million a year for the broadcast rights of WWE programming, but there may be more money to be made elsewhere.
It is possible that a new deal from Facebook, another online platform, or even the USA Network could bring in more than $400 million for Vince McMahon’s company. The only decision that needs to be made is if WWE wants to remain on TV or go completely onto the internet.
Ever since making the current deal with the USA Network in 2014, the WWE Network has advanced in huge ways and with an incredible amount of new subscribers. While programming is going to remain on TV for at least a couple of more years, the network is looking better with each passing week of low ratings.
Fans really need to get the most out of viewing shows such as Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live on TV while they can. It may be only a matter of time until the two main brands join NXT, Main Event, 205 Live, and all pay-per-view events on the WWE Network. Declining television ratings are a real issue for Vince McMahon and the rest of the company, but luckily, there are better alternatives out there, such as Facebook and other digital formats for them to land on.
[Featured Image by WWE]