The tradition of WWE hosting house shows every weekend on Saturday and Sunday nights may be facing significant changes, as suggested by TKO COO Mark Shapiro. Since WWE’s acquisition by the Endeavor Group and its merger with the UFC to create TKO, various alterations have been occurring within the company, prompting a reconsideration of the significance and frequency of these live events.
House shows, also known as live events, have historically served several purposes within WWE. They allow the company to connect with fans in local markets, provide wrestlers with additional in-ring experience, and help rehearse and refine future televised matches. However, WWE’s revenue model has evolved, primarily relying on guaranteed TV rights deals rather than gate receipts.
Speaking at the UBS media conference via WrestleNomics, Mark Shapiro addressed the potential reduction of house shows, citing “margin perspective” as the driving factor behind this consideration. In corporate terms, “margin perspective” implies that these shows may not be profitable for the company. WWE has recently undergone corporate layoffs, indicating a financial evaluation of its operations.
Shapiro emphasized that while there are valid reasons to host house shows for brand-building and audience expansion purposes, they might not be financially efficient. The intention is to assess opportunities for streamlining these non-televised events and potentially reducing their frequency. This move aims to improve profit margins and overall operational efficiency within the company.
“While there’s a reason to have them because it’s good for the brand, we’re building [an] audience, we’re putting them on in C and D counties, so we’re really stretching the brand, and we’re amassing a greater array of eyeballs from all demos so it’s good for our long-term growth. Through a margin perspective, they are dilutive. So there’s probably an opportunity as we go through our efficiencies and our synergy opportunities to cut back on some of those non-televised events, which will push our margin up so we are going through that exercise now.”
The future of WWE’s house shows is now under scrutiny, and fans, as well as industry insiders, will be watching closely to see how these potential changes might impact the company’s live event schedule and its ongoing efforts to connect with audiences.
How do you think potential changes to WWE’s house show schedule might affect the wrestling industry and the overall fan experience?