Chris Jericho is one of the most experienced pro-wrestlers in the world. Having spanned his career through multiple promotions, Jericho has both all the tricks of the biz down. His transition to AEW also marked his role to change into a veteran, one who knows how everything works.
Jericho recently spoke to Sports Media about the competition that has been ongoing between WWE & AEW. He said that the overall viewership is not the right metric to see which promotion is emerging victorious. While AEW wins out in the 18-49 demographic, WWE wins out in the overall metric.
The former AEW world champion said that he didn’t care back when NXT won out to AEW Dynamite. He revealed that the entire reason he started the “Demo God” gimmick was to outline that winning in key demographics has always been more important for AEW.
No. Not to be blasé about it, but I really don’t care [about NXT’s statistics]. It doesn’t matter to me. Even when we were in the wrestling war, quote unquote, on the Wednesday nights, we never followed what NXT did. Now when the demos came out — that’s why I started ‘Demo God’ because everyone was talking about NXT. Sometimes they’d be beating us in overall numbers, and I was like, ‘You guys don’t get it. The demo, we’re killing them.’
Jericho then went on to explain with an example. While it might sound counterintuitive, he explained that WWE doing a million viewers and AEW doing 500,000 in viewership is better. He added that attracting more viewers in the 18-49 demographics also supports AEW because that is what advertisers want.
[They’d say] ‘Oh well it doesn’t matter, it’s all about [the viewership]’ And I realized very quickly, years ago, it’s not about [viewership] — OK, there’s a million people watching this show and 500,000 people watching this one. The demo of the million draws 200,000 [viewers] and the demo of the 500,000 show is 400,000. The 500,000 wins. And you’re like, ‘how does that make sense?’ Because the demo is what people base the advertising rates on. It’s just the way of the world, 18 to 49 [the key demo] is the ‘bread and butter.’ If you got a bunch of 12-year-olds watching, that’s good because they’ll grow into 18s. If you got a bunch of 60-year-olds watching — not to be classless — but nobody really cares, that’s not the demo they’re going for.
AEW vs WWE is no secret to anyone. Tony Khan has been explicitly seeing WWE to be AEW’s competition. He recently expressed that with fresh WWE releases, AEW would not have any shortage of debuts. Despite facing criticism from the likes of Booker T and Erich Bischoff, Tony Khan is not going to back off anytime soon.
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