Pro Wrestling Since 1997


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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14 Responses

  1. dave says:

    This is interesting in terms of discussing how WWE downgrading their PPVs would be successful. Back to IYH, perhaps. Or will the WWE make some bolder PPV moves? Maybe cutting down to 8 a year, etc . .

    Or they’ll ride this out because they basically can comfortably. A factor could be whether this declining trend is either down to the economy, fan satisfaction with the product or both.

  2. Daniel says:

    A BIG factor is the number of free streams you can get online these days. Also, they NEED to stop doing PPVs so close together, seriously. PPV, 3 weeks later, PPV, 3 weeks later PPV…NO! Peopl can barely afford this in a good economy not to mention in a bad one…gees, WWE. Them going to 8 a year would be a smart move.

  3. Bryant says:

    It’s to much money to be buying these PPV’s every month. I just watch them on the i-net somewhere for free. Those number are skewed due to people not paying to watch. I dont know if these number inclued the Armed Forces Network(AFN), who get the PPV’s for free.

  4. mma kid says:

    seriously its because of the UFC. who wants to watch fake stuff these days..i was a wrestling fan, and switched to UFC. like seriously there are many reasons for it. the UFC your guaranteed to get excitement. not only are you getting a main event, but there surrounding the cards with 4 other amazing fight, and if the fight are quick they put the prelims in there.
    few tips the WWE could do.
    1. less ppv’s
    2. less price
    3. maybe a free one here and there
    4. take away the PG rating, and make it more hardcore again. they beat WCW when they moved to the attitude era

  5. John says:

    Personally i think its the PG rating and from them getting rid of JR, to the John Cena dominating raw all the time, like the storylines are weak nowadays,and also they dont use wrestlers properly, they dont make good gimmicks anymore. Its less adult oriented like back in the day the attitude era was more adult like now its more for the kids its not the same plus Michael Cole is ruining raw.

  6. kletis says:

    I think the reason the ppv buys are down is the product has went down wwe knows they are the only show on mondays and fridays and fans will watch no matter what and they think people will buy the ppvs even if they are not as good

  7. reyo says:

    I think if and when WWE gets it’s own cable network they will scale back ppv’s. And for people who think UFC takes down wrestling, think again. True wrestling fans who understand the sport and why it’s scripted can still appreciate wrestling even though they know it’s a story and a script being played out. Just like a movie buff can still enjoy a good flick even though everything is scripted and set up for entertainment purposes. UFC is more like the new boxing not the new wrestling. Wrestling has always had to battle the whole "it’s fake" comment and yet it always comes out on top in the end.

    I ordered Night Of Champions but held off on Hell In a Cell it’s just too much for me to pay in a month on my bill. And I know if I applied myself I could get it for free, but I’m too honest and wouldn’t enjoy watching it anyhow. Changing the night of their ppv’s could help maybe. I know it’s probably an error but Elimination Chamber is slated for 2-21 which is a monday night. I don’t think that’s a bad idea that might actually draw more buys no MNF going on. Why not give it a whirl. The ppv’s get over at 11pm and if you have to work early the next day it sucks.

    Might give wrestling fans something to look forward to after a long day at work. Those are my thoughts other than improving story lines or lowering ppv prices there’s not much else you can do to get people to buy a ppv.

  8. Jay says:

    WWE is finished, the bubble has burst, glory years arent coming back, the era of a sophisticated, edgy, adult WRESTLING product with huge stars are gone. Now its all about over produced kid friendly tv with a restriction on ring work, too many celebrities and lame movies.

  9. michael woods says:

    well the ppvs are to high in price they need one set price of 19.95 per show and quit having the same ol matches over and over again kane will meet the undertaker again third ppv in a row give anthoner guy a chance like big show vs kane and so on bottom line lower your prices

  10. Shawn says:

    The only thing the WWE needs to do to improve PPV buyrates is put Gail Kim on Every PPV card. I ordered every TNA PPV regardless of what I thought of the rest of the card to see her and would do so for the WWE.

  11. Big Tony says:

    Bottom line, PPV is suposed to offer viewers something that they cannot see on the regular TV shows. PPV’s should not be PG. It wouldn’t kill the WWE to put a little blood on a PPV. Or a at least put up a real good old school ECW style match which would also serve to boost the credibility of their lame “Superstars”. Did you hear the POP Goldust got on RAW this week? The new generation of wrestlers couldn’t lace the boots of the attitude era guys. NOW THOSE WERE SUPERSTARS! I live for the day Shamus bleeds! Could you imagine what a crimson mask would look like on that human jar of Mayo?

  12. DeathNote81 says:

    Like somebody bled in a jar of mayonaise!

  13. John says:

    I believe that if Linda McMahon loses her election they might go back to edgier fare. This was all about the election. Less PPV’s and less price. Make them more special by having less of them.

  14. kiddo says:

    there are a litany of reasons why the wwe is losing buy rates…

    it should be obvious that people aren’t racing to spend money while so many are out of work or struggling to begin with. the sheer number of pay per views is down right annoying. plus the amount of advertising for both the ppv and just during the show totally is a deal breaker. half the time i end up watching part of raw i feel like i see commercials, then advertising ON the show and then a commercial break!
    too many of the story arcs are redundant and boring and there is barely any actual wrestling. the gimmicks are kinda lame too… i mean the was always the extremely absurd like Doink or Kamala and silly crap… but that was fun and didn’t take itself too seriously as opposed to all these self aggrandizing asshole 20 something year olds… that character is not really a seller… OR all these pseudo good pseudo bad guys with issues… like really?
    And i think part of what is putting a nail in the coffin is the alienation of minorities. hate to break it to you, but some of the most capable minority wrestlers are always mysteriously weakened when facing their mediocre white counter parts… why on earth should a bunch of black young men want to throw all sorts of money oat a company that repeatedly demonstrates that “blacks are ok, but not as good as pretty white guys with tattoos”…why should Hispanics want to throw money at company that with the exception of Eddie and Rey, relegate any male Hispanic character to a dancing fool…

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