WWE needs to pull up the nose on their ratings in a big way. The company seems to find a new low each week in some aspect of their viewership.
LightShed wrote that the MVPD (multichannel video programming distributor) is in “true decline.” There are doubts, which we previously reported, that networks will be open to pay such high prices during the next round of talks.
The estimate is that WWE will see a decline in subscribers by the time they enter their next round of talks with FOX and USA Network in 2022. The local affiliates who support the deals could also be in for a strain.
In the meantime, we have doubts about traditional cable networks, including the current partners’ willingness to pay higher prices in the next round of negotiations. The MVPD ecosystem is in true decline. We estimate 74-75 mm subscribers at the end of 2020 falling to 60 million at the end of 2022, when WWE will begin negotiations in earnest on its domestic deals. The affiliate base supporting these deals is in trouble.
It was also written that “this is not changing anytime soon. We do not see a clear path to better economics than the TV ecosystem is providing for WWE content or for any sports or sports-like content.”
The idea that WWE will turn this issue around without fixing their content issues and dwindling television ratings is not in the picture. Both FOX and NBCUniversal are committed to other sporting companies which will “will soak up a lot of available programming dollars.”
WWE needs to do something or they will find themselves with much lower offers for their television content the next time around. We just reported that they hit a new all time low in RAW’s third hour this week. That’s not a good sign.