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Report: Scary trending numbers for WWE PPV buys

According to new figures provided by Dave Meltzer and The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE pay per view buyrates domestically are trending at 1.5 million buys from January to the end of August 2010. This is a 25% drop off in domestic buyrates for the company. In comparison, WWE had already hit this 1.5 million buyrate number last year in June, the year before in May and the year before that in April 2007. If numbers continue the way they are, WWE is on track to produce the lowest number of North American PPV buys since the 1994-1995 fiscal year (calculated as May 1, 1994 to April 30, 1995) in a year where they only produced five PPV events for a total of 1.8 million buys as opposed to the scheduled 13 this year.

To make matters worse, new numbers for Wrestlemania 26 have been released and it is actually a downgrade from the numbers released earlier this year. The latest domestic number for Wrestlemania 26 is at 491,000 buys domestic and 394,000 international, which is down from the 510,000 domestic estimate provided earlier. Last year’s Wrestlemania drew 582,000 domestic buys. The same can be applied to Royal Rumble 2010 as that show is now trending at 258,000 buys domestically and 204,000 international, down slightly from the estimated 268,000 domestic estimate.

The news doesn’t get better. Both Vince McMahon and WWE stated publicly that they intended to turn around PPV business starting with Summerslam this past August and new trending estimates for that show have it doing 350,000 total worldwide buys with 206,000 coming in domestically and 144,000 being international. This would be the lowest buyrate number for a Summerslam event since 1997. Even though it was widely considered to be a better booked show than last year, that show in 2009 drew 369,000 worldwide buys with 229,000 domestic and 140,000 international.

Adam Martin,

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