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Thread: AEW Full Gear

  1. #41
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    How would you go about it?

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  2. #42
    Feeling Minnesota Powder's Avatar
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    AEW live stream via the internet, on their website for $10 per buy would probably make more money in volume than fewer buys at $49.99.

  3. #43
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Maybe. I certainly understand the logic. But you'd have to do 5x the number, and they've already got a ridiculously high conversion rate.....

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  4. #44
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    I can tell you personally, that I would be quicker to spend $10, 4x a year rather than $50, and I bet that there are a large number of AEW fans that still pay for the Network, which is $120 for the year. With the Network you get 13 PPVs (forget about the other content) for the less than cost of AEW's 4.

    So I would assume, and I know what assuming does, that much more than 100,000 people would be inclined to shell out $10 every 3 months, than the 100,000 who paid $50.

    One of the reasons I did not buy Full Gear was the price.

  5. #45
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powder View Post
    AEW live stream via the internet, on their website for $10 per buy would probably make more money in volume than fewer buys at $49.99.
    I get what you're saying, but there's a lot of infrastructure involved with that which can make it less than ideal to run iPPV reliably.

    It might not matter to you and I, but it's the same reason they're running major arenas even if there's been weeks where they haven't been able to fill them. They, like WWE, would rather be in a 20k seat arena with 7k people there than a completely full 5k seat arena because there's a certain "big time" status that comes with the former. Being in iPPV or FITE makes you the same as anyone else. Being available on PPV puts you on the level of WWE (who pioneered it for wrestling) and the UFC -- two major global brands.

    Their audience is a little more tech savvy, and I'll bet that piracy is more of an issue than it was before WWE made the jump to the Network, but if 100k people (more than 10% of your average weekly audience) are willing to pay $50 for your show, I'm not sure how much better the conversion rate would be at a lower price point or different medium.

    Plus, WWE still does about 10k buys monthly on traditional pay per view because there's a lot of places in the US without internet speeds necessary to stream the Network.

    If the historic numbers are accurate, they're probably making about $10 per head -- maybe a little more -- off traditional PPV, and likely wouldn't see a ton more conversion on a cheaper, digital platform so you can make $10 per head off the medium that makes you look big time, or you can make $10 per head off the medium that everyone else makes use of (plus lose some of that money to fees) in exchange for a few more buys.

    I was skeptical of AEW on pay per view, but professional wrestling has proven that while the audience is smaller than ever, their willingness to spend money is higher than ever. If they can keep pulling numbers like this, or grow them, then traditional PPV has to have proven to be a success.

  6. #46
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but to make the same money charging everyone 1/5 of what they are currently, and with the TV audience the size that it currently is... You'd need to convert one out of every two viewers. If not more.

    And again, correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't recall a major promotion ever doing that before. Even the hottest Wrestlemanias have only ever managed about 1 in 5, if I'm remembering correctly.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  7. #47
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    However, even with the ratings at 975K, that is NOT 100% accurate. Those numbers are from the Nielsen ratings subscribers or people who have the Nielsen ratings boxes in their homes, and then by calculating via a simple proportion, how many viewers a specific show had. So the numbers are just projections.

    For instance, if the boxes project a 3.0 rating, that means that out of the 100% of the boxes, only 3.0% watched a show. Then by multiplying 3% by estimated 120 million households with TV, that gives about 3,600,000 viewers.

    I know that the TV system has been using this for years, but I do not believe that they are 100% accurate. There is no way that the people who have the Nielsen boxes truly represent any specific fanbase, especially wrestling. For instance, how many boxes are in the midewest, south, tri-state area etc? How many boxes are in hotbeds of professional wrestling? I ask b/c when you disperse the boxes to get a large variety of people from different socio-economic backgrounds you do not get a true picture of a particular fanbase, so ratings are for the general public, and sponsors, but do not necessarily represent the amount of fans.

    Again, this is important b/c while the ratings numbers are what they are, I do not feel that they truly represent the amount of people who watch wrestling, let alone who would buy a PPV or buy a less expensive streamed PPV. So Dynamite had 975K viewers based on a rating, but the show probably has much more than 1,000,000 viewers who tune in weekly (any particular show for that matter).

    So I guess my final point is that if we are trying to figure out a way to get a PPV cost down, and to more people, then you can go via an internet stream, like the Network. I do not think that AEW should go full Network, but literally Pay-Per-View, but online. I truly believe that in the long run, more people will buy the PPV at a lower cost than a smaller amount at full cost.

    Compare the idea to Kickstarter or Go Fund Me. It is not easy to raise $1,000,000 by asking people to donate $10,000 (or more) each, but, in America, out of 320,000,000 you might be able to get 1,000,000 people to donate a dollar each, then boom, you are a millionaire.
    Last edited by Powder; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:38 PM.

  8. #48
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Yeah, but it's the same for all wrestling, so when the arguments are based on proportions, it doesn't really change anything even if the numbers are a bit out, because they are out broadly the same for everyone.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  9. #49
    The Brain
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    I'd be happy for any price cut, honestly. I could justify $30-$35 to myself more easily than the full $50. When they have more content (or if they partner up with other services), I think a streaming service will be a must at some point.

  10. #50
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    The thing is, I suspect you get a lot of people that watch the PPVs as a group.

    Say I have four friends that like wrestling and I talk to about wrestling. Obviously, this is a stretch because it assumes I have four friends, but bear with me. We may, all five, watch AEW live weekly - five viewers for the week. But for the quarterly PPVs we might all get together and make an event of them - five viewers turn into one PPV buy.

    If you charge less for the PPVs, that's likely not going to change groups of people watching together.

  11. #51
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    Not so sure. People get together, yes, but many of those times are to share the cost. But if you lower the cost, some, not all you f those groups will generate more buys.

  12. #52
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure Oli is right here. Wrestling has gotten less social over the years, true, which is partly why there were always more fans around than the estimates suggest in the past, in a way that feels hugely unlikely nowadays.

    But the minute you introduce a cost, and charging for it, I think you're going to have people clubbing together and splitting it. It might happen less at a lower price point, and some people might decide they'd rather watch at home by themselves, but it's still going to happen. I don't think PPV has gotten less social at the rate that the weekly TVs have.

    Plus, some people are still going to steal it, if they can.

    The question isn't about if you generate more buys, unless you're only interested in that number itself. They will be far more interested in revenue, and then it's all about can you get enough new buys to make up for the money you're losing. And those are some big numbers that we're talking about.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    The question isn't about if you generate more buys, unless you're only interested in that number itself. They will be far more interested in revenue, and then it's all about can you get enough new buys to make up for the money you're losing. And those are some big numbers that we're talking about.
    Number of buys is 100% directly correlated with amount of revenue, no one just cares about revenue. They want both to be as high as they can get. Price points of any item is the generating factor of buy rates and thus revenue.

    Price point of a PPV and the distribution method is the driving factor of our discussion here. My argument is a lower cost will generate more buys which will in turn generate more revenue. Others, argue that a lower cost will not not generate enough buys to equal the fewer buy at higher price as you stated.

    And I will still say, that regardless of the social aspect of watching PPVs together, which is much more fun, are more common because of the higher price point. If 5 people get together to watch a $50 PPV, I argue that many of those groups would not get together on a [traditionally] Sunday night at a PPV price point of $10. Those people are still paying $10 per person, but they have the comfort of their own home/tv/couch, and they do not have to get home late, especially on a Sunday.

    But I know that AEW has been on Saturday, so that does make a huge difference, and can lead to more viewing parties. But you can compare this to the Super Bowl. There are parties galore, but they still get huge ratings, even with all those groups getting together.

    AEW should lower the cost, even to $25 per PPV. $50 is a lot, which is one huge benefit to the WWE Network. $120 for the year with 13 PPVs means that it is $9.20 per PPV. Even if you only watch half, you are still paying slightly more than half of AEW's cost at $50 per PPV with 4 shows per year for a total of $200. What happens if/when AEW adds a 5th PPV and a 6th? etc. Now you get back into what happened with the WWE and how their buy rate dropped because of the extremely high monthly cost.
    Last edited by Powder; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:56 AM.

  14. #54
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    I have no idea why you're bothering to summarise the argument when everyone understands it. You've basically repeated what you've already said and not added anything, even though quite clearly everyone else got it ages ago.

    Basic fact - 100k buys at $50 is $5m. If you dropped the price to $10 and that meant you trebled your buys, you'd still only have $3m. That would be an amazing accomplishment in terms of buys (better than a lot of WWE PPVs in the pre-Network era), and you'd still be $2m worse off. And what we're trying to get you to understand is that it isn't as simple as dropping the price automatically yields more views - there will always be some of your audience who get together to split the cost, and there will always be some people who don't pay at all and try to steal it. There is something called the law of diminishing returns that has to be factored in, that once you reach a certain point it makes less and less difference.

    So it is simply not good enough to say more buys will equal more revenue, because everyone gets that, and frankly you should already know that everyone gets that if you're paying even the slightest attention to what everyone else is saying. The question is, if you slash your cost by 80%, where on earth do you magic up 400,000 extra buys to make up for the fact you'd otherwise be giving up millions and millions of dollars?

    EDIT: $25 is more reasonable. The smart money is that you still don't double your buyrate and you end up losing money compared with what they are currently doing - but that's at least somewhat plausible. And it'd also bring you into line with what ITV charge for PPV here in the UK.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  15. #55
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    I just do not see AEW sustaining enough people buying a PPV at $50 per. AEW is new and fresh and will/should generate a lot of initial buys. But when the novelty wears off and it is just 'the other wrestling company', I do not see them maintaining 100,000 buys at $50 per.

    The WWE, which was/is a huge monopoly, and held monthly PPvs, knew that and saw it coming, which is one of the reasons they went to the Network plan. They now get 1,000,000+ people per month giving them $10 per month, with translates to $120,000,000 a year just in Network revenue. I do not know what their numbers were prior to the Network, but did they have 200,000+ buys per month for each PPV at $50 per to equal the $10,000,000 per month they now currently make?

    If AEW can sustain 100,000 buys at $50 per, then they will make $20,000,000 a year. But that depends on IF they can maintain 100,000 buys, but as you pointed out, the law of diminishing returns. Ratings are already dropping some, so PPV buys will also. But if AEW can have a streaming service, like the WWE, Netflix, Disney, etc, and they can get 1/3 of the WWE's numbers they can make $40,000,000 by that plan. AND most people when they have a subscription, usually do not end up cancelling it, so the WWE, and then AEW will just keep cashing those checks. ie. Look at gym memberships, how many people sign up in January for their New year's resolution and then never go again? But they keep paying those monthly costs....
    Last edited by Powder; 3 Weeks Ago at 11:26 AM.

  16. #56
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I believe I've heard that the AEW product will have bigger PPVs, and smaller ones, not unlike the IYH model - and that the smaller ones won't cost $50.

    To answer your question, WWE buyrates before the Network fluctuated from month to month, but they could be less than that, while the big four were consistently higher (Wrestlemania did over a million buys a few times in the early part of the decade, I think?). So yes, they probably did give up some money on the basis that they could be more secure in the customers that they had. A more stable supply of income, rather than up and down.

    An AEW streaming service is an interesting idea but as Mizfan said earlier on... probably need some more content for that one. Though if they do lose their 'buzz' and become 'just the other wrestling company', then I think what we're talking about now might be the least of their worries, and that might not be the best time to be stuck with an expensive over the top service - and if it's just a glorified iPPV, that could end up hurting your bottom line and making the decline still steeper.

    Judging by how many people have cancelled WWE Network in the past year or so I don't think your gym membership analogy really holds, but I do take the point.


    I suppose sustainability is a question you've got to address but at the same time, it almost feels like right now they are the hottest thing in wrestling, despite the decline in ratings and the fact that they haven't pulled in a mass audience yet. I suspect the thing to do might be to start to plan for the future, but also to make as much money as you can in the time while you are hot.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  17. #57
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    What are the current numbers for Network subscriptions? Is it still over a million?

    EDIT: A little checking lends itself to this data: In the second quarter the WWE had 1.597 million subscribers, which is down from 2018's numbers and the first quarter of 2019. But still a lot of subscribers.
    Last edited by Powder; 3 Weeks Ago at 11:39 AM.

  18. #58
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    Last I heard is that they were at about 1.6m total and that they were expecting the next quarterly update to show them down from that to about 1.5m

    Some of those are unpaid subscriptions, though, and the figure counts international subscribers - it's around 1.1m paying subscribers in the US.

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  19. #59
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    That's what I found around 1.6 million, even if we estimate that 1.3 million world wide are paying that is still $156 million per year. Then add that Wrestlemania generates roughly $200 million alone (not sure if that includes network and stand alone PPV buys). Even with a drop in number, that is a lot of money.

  20. #60
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    The one thing that you can't criticise WWE for is their profitability. It's a money-making machine. It might be more or less than that figure too, as we pay 9.99 here, which is obviously more than $9.99 (most of the time).

    Anyway, back to AEW as this is their thread. I'm still of the opinion that their PPV business is very healthy indeed. That's my baseline opinion regardless of anything else.

    Carry on!

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  21. #61
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    Last I heard the Network was between 1.4 and 1.5 million subscribers. The issues with it is that a) it's stalled at that number and b) its revenue isn't translating to profit. That's why the TV deals and the Saudi Arabia fiascoes have become so important to the WWE's bottom line; the Network gets them some cash but on the whole hasn't generated nearly the amount of profit for WWE as they expected. So it's not as simple as saying "the WWE makes this much from so and so subscribers paying so and so a month"; the reality is that the Network generating money has become far less important for WWE than the TV deals and the Saudi Arabian deal and unless a surge in popularity starts bringing people to the Network it'll stay the same.

    As for AEW PPV prices, the price is absolutely fine. We had this argument back when they made Double or Nothing first ran and we all thought the price was too high...only for it to then do strong numbers out of the gate. The fact that they've at least equaled the interest in big shows since then shows that the price isn't that big of a deal, especially when it's only four big shows a year with a few semi-big shows sprinkled in. Unless buys drop off rapidly going forward, the price should stay exactly as it is.


  22. #62
    The Brain
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    Man, now I just feel sad that I don't have a bunch of wrestling friends nearby to split the cost of a PPV with me.

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