Update on WWE’s PPV strategy
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the original plan, when the brand split was brought back, was to do 20 PPVs per year, which was then cut to 18, and then to 16. WWE started to drop the number of shows is because WWE quickly found out the number of PPV shows had nothing to do with increasing network numbers. Basically, they were spending a lot of money and creating no new money, since individual buys on single shows are not that significant anymore. The idea was to cut back to 12 and go back to dual brand shows rather than go months without individual brand shows, as they have done. There was also the feeling with some slow advances for individual brand PPV shows, that loading the shows up with stronger lineups will lead to better ticket sales.
As far as talent pay goes, “for the top talent, the difference probably won’t be significant. It could be down, since in the network era, the pay is determined based on what the shows each month did in the pre-network era, and then allocated in a secret and non-existent formula among the talent on the shows. With more talent on the shows in the main event position, then the money in theory would decrease. It wouldn’t decrease from the top guys, as the company traditionally always takes care of its top talent. For non-top guys, if there are more people on the show, it would cut down on their money. For mid-level guys who would have been on PPVs eight to ten times a year, and now may not be on PPV at all, or if they are, on fewer shows, the difference will be more significant.”
The site also adds that all but the top talent will have fewer opportunities and the PPVs will be almost exclusively championship matches, and that likely means an increase in multiple person matches, especially in the main event picture and tag team pictures.