HTQ Op Ed #1: Some People Are Really Stupid
I know it’s not the most groundbreaking of statements to make, but some people out there are really stupid. What makes some of those people even more stupid is that they should know better. Yet, for some reason, they don’t. Why are these people stupid? Well, these people think it’s a good thing that Vince McMahon, for the Raw ‘Homecoming’ on the USA network is flushing away around $7.5m in potential PPV revenue for a show that, A: Is part of a ratings war that he was going to easily win anyway, and B: No matter how high ratings are, he won’t make any money from them, because USA handle all the ad work, so they keep any and all ad revenue that Raw makes.
“Ah, but if he can get lots of people to tune into Raw, then Vince can get them to buy the PPV/PPV’s”
Nice idea in theory, but let’s look at it a little closer.
In one night, Vince is giving away, on free television, the returns of Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan and Mick Foley. Now, each of those people could have had their returns built up for a PPV, the revenue of which Vince would be able to keep, and Vince would be looking at three different sets of bumper PPV buys. Now, he won’t get any of that. Sure, he can bring each of them back for a PPV later on in the year, but the return on bringing them back won’t be anywhere close to what it could have been, because he just gave away their return on free television. It’s like trying to sell a thirsty man a glass of water when you’ve just let him drink his fill for free. He’s had his thirst sated, so why should he want to pay for more water?
Looking at the in-ring action of Raw, it’s just as bad, because they’re giving away a Kurt Angle versus Shawn Michaels Iron Man match, and a Matt Hardy vs. Edge Loser Leaves Raw ladder match, both of which could have drawn some PPV buys, on separate PPV’s or one loaded one, and the company could have made some serious coin off of them. Now, if they bring Kurt vs. Shawn back to PPV at any time before the end of the year, it won’t mean as much because people just got it for free on television.
As for getting the people to pay for the PPV’s, they’re giving away a (over)loaded night of Raw for free, so to get people to shell out $34.95 for a PPV, it would have to be something really special after the Raw, and what are the chances of that happening, especially after giving away for free the kind of stuff that people would have paid for?