Paul Heyman on the Drops In WWE Ratings, Steve Austin’s Live Podcast with Brock Lesnar
– Paul Heyman recently spoke with Scott Fishman of Channel Guide Magazine to promote Saturday’s live WWE Network special from Madison Square Garden. The full interview is at this link. Below are a few highlights:
Not needing knee-jerk reactions to drops in WWE ratings:
“I think if there is erosion in the ratings then we are in a cycle within the industry where fans are going and looking for or finding other interests. This is not dissimilar to any other forms of entertainment. The key has always been to replace those who leave, to bring in more fans at any time you are losing fans. At this particular point in time there is a search to find the new fan. I am not one who looks at the ratings every Tuesday and says, ‘Well, we haven’t replaced everybody that is left. The ratings didn’t double.’ I’m not expecting that type of increase tomorrow or the next week or the week after that. Any business with longevity, and this is the one company in the business that has survived, deals with this. They survive because when there was an erosion of the audience and they had to replenish the audience, there isn’t a panic. Panic is never the answer. Panic never brings up the ratings.
“A long-term solution is with a number of brand new stars, all in compelling situations with riveting storylines and new match-ups. That is what will bring an upswing to the ratings ever so slowly to where the average rating goes up a little bit each month. Then a couple of years from now the erosion have taken place of the people that have left being fans and a new generation or group or crop of fans has come in. It’s natural evolution of any form of entertainment.”
Brock Lesnar’s live WWE Network podcast with Steve Austin this month:
“I think it’s a very interesting scenario,” Heyman agrees. “Brock Lesnar has not been in a position where he had to speak for a full hour. This is a first time for Brock. Austin is a great host, and he does tremendous research on the subject matter. Then he goes with his gut when he is on the air. So you have two very interesting people with great passion for what they do. There is no shortage of topics for them to talk about. I am watching this as a fan because I really don’t know what to expect. I don’t think either one of them knows what to expect yet.
“Brock has no game plan walking into this podcast. I would suspect that Steve Austin is going to feel it the night that he sits in front of that microphone. While he will be profoundly researched and have all his facts and figures, I think Steve is still going to improvise it with that ammunition and having the resource of all that information. I still think Steve is going to feel it the night of the show and go where he feels he needs to deliver the best podcast for the audience.”
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