In a business that throughout the years that has lived by TV Ratings has the time come that WWE no longer needs to worry about them? With 1.22 million WWE Network subscribers as of December 31st 2015. It’s the WWE Network that has taken away from the importance of ratings as Vince McMahon said “WWE TV ratings might be down, they are not as down as other shows which air on the same networks as WWE programming, and with all the social and digital content they now have, people are consuming content when they want to as opposed to when it airs on TV, which is very important to WWE”. This is reflected in the Fourth Quarter financial results released during the week.
How crucial is the WWE Network to WWE’s Success?
-Subscriptions to the WWE Network are currently up a huge 49% to 1.22 million for 2015
-The WWE Network brought in a massive $159 million in revenue
-The Global Distribution of the WWE Network is massive with the WWE Network currently in 180 countries
-WWE is always adding new content to appease the WWE Universe with 330+ hours of new content added on 2015 which gives Network subscribers a total of 4300+hours of content to select from
-The combined hours of all content viewed on the WWE Network by all Network subscribers is a staggering 256 million hours over the lifetime of the WWE Network to date which is roughly 188 hours per household per year which puts it ahead of most American cable networks
-The WWE Network is the fifth largest direct to consumer subscription service in the United States.
So on the back of these facts it is clear to see why the Chairman of the WWE is not worried about the ratings drop. Another reason is that despite the ratings drop for its flagship television programming for the year 2015 TV revenue was up 31%. WWE also has the #1 sports channel on Youtube. WWE’s Youtube channel garnered an astonishing 8 billion views in 2015. WWE proudly mentions its standing as the No. 6 most social brand in the world. Social media is engrained in the WWE product with the broadcast team making announcements of anything WWE-related that trends worldwide.
WWE generated 790 million social media fan engagements (fan engagement is when a response is given to WWE content by counting the number of likes, follows, shares, mentions, and retweets across social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr) in 2015. So it goes to show that there is more than one way to engage with your fan base and this is something that Vince has taken on board when it comes to the WWE which always adapts to new forms of audience engagement.
So it's clear that the Network is playing a crucial role in the company's success, as it's actually growing the WWE brand, and having a huge influence in the way that they now operate, something that will only continue as the Network grows.