Professional Wrestling

Goals

To obtain demographics and insights on professional wrestling in the United States for promotional ideas.

Early Findings

Demographics

  • From 2000-2016, the average age increased by 24 years to 54 years old. This is the biggest jump of all sports. This indicates the WWE is having a harder time bringing in new, younger fans.
  • Pro wrestling, and WWE in particular, once thrived in that demographic, but with Americans dropping traditional cable and satellite TV at a rapid rate, they've resorted to other means to consume content they once watched on TV. The rise of Netflix, Hulu and the countless other streaming services now available has been arguably the biggest factor in the falling viewership of both SmackDown and Raw.
  • The 18-34 male demographic that WWE once relied on so much, has arguably been disenchanted by WWE's move to PG.
  • 40% of the WWE viewership is female.
  • 17% are of the WWE viewership is under the age of 18.
  • The current WWE audience by age looks like this 22% is between the ages of 2-17, 23% is between the ages of 18-34, 26% is between the ages of 35-49 and 30% is age 50 or older.

Insights

  • WWE Raw ratings have been trending downward over the last several years.
  • 2018 showed record-low ratings for WWE’s flagship show, Raw, after nearly 26 years in operation.
  • In April 2019, Monday Night Raw did the lowest non-holiday ratings number in its history, posting an average of 2,158,000 viewers across the three-hour show; hour three was at 1,898,000 viewers.
  • Fightful.com shares viewership numbers by shows.
  • Average paid ticket sales show a consistent decline across each quarter for the last three years. That’s true for both international events and the more regular North American (includes U.S. and Canada only) business. WWE runs many of the same venues in the U.S. and Canada year after year.
  • Queries worldwide for WWE and related subjects have declined consistently in each quarter since a peak in 2016.
  • Subscriber growth for the WWE Network continues to rise in each and every quarterly comparison throughout the now five-year history of the subscription video streaming service that airs all of the company’s pay-per-view events. Reliable projections the company provides between quarters makes subscriber growth predictable to investors. WWE projected Q4 2018’s average paid subscriber number will be 1.56 million, again up from the Q4 of the prior year.
  • Time spent viewing WWE video on various online platforms like YouTube and Facebook continues to grow with no end in sight. WWE remains one of the most popular channels globally on YouTube. Video views, different from time spent viewing, continues to grow too. Both metrics have grown at double-digit rates of percent from quarter to quarter.
  • Social media followers continue to grow modestly.
  • We now live in very politically correct times and the reputation the wrestling business has garnered over the years means that it's behind the eight ball, so to speak, when it comes to vying for position in the world of entertainment.
  • There has been a marked improvement by WWE in recent times - we no longer have to sit through as many awful comedy sketches these days - but the fact remains that the majority of things we see on our screens are truly horrible, nonsensical, long-winded and cheesy. There's no killer storyline and no episodic build. Fans have no reason to tune in each week, as there's rarely ever cliffhangers or story development.

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