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By Dave Scherer on 2022-10-25 10:00:00

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First off, thank you for your work through the years and I hope this letter finds you and yours very well. The reason I'm sending in this barrage is because I've been enjoying your Q&As more and more lately and especially Dave's essays and detailed anecdotes on AEW's state. I encourage Dave to write more long pieces and maybe if he could use his skills to go in depth specifically on TV & ratings in a future articleI think it would be beneficial since if I'm curious and a bit confused, I'm sure other fellow readers are too. The questions go long because I am sincerely trying to gain deeper understanding while trying to avoid the same ol' same ol' answers.

Thanks for the kind words.  I appreciate them.

I'm becoming despondent with wrestling news, especially pertaining to ratings. When I read certain individuals' takes on ratings. I come away with so many more questions than answers. It seems like the AEW rating is phenomenal no matter what the numbers are. I get it - AEW is cheap for TBS right now and they get some numbers. With TBS, they get so many perks, though. Is there not a point to be made that AEW's success (or a lot of shows, not to just single out AEW) has more to do with being on TBS in prime time on a relatively weak night than any signs of it being a quality show that is catching on? Or is TBS just happy Tony is flipping the bill for the production, talent and everything else their 43.5 milly per year can't possibly cover.

I can't speak for other sites but I have certainly seen some people who are very AEW friendly with the way they "report" things.  I have seen one reporter compare AEW's loss of viewership from the start to the end of Dynamite is something that Raw and Smackdown share.  Technically, it's true but it leaves out the fact that AEW loses a much higher percentage of viewers than those shows lose.  I can't speak for how TBS feels about AEW in the future.  We will know more when it comes time to get a new TV deal.  For now?  They love AEW.  They get a show that is often number one or two on basic cable for the night for a great price.  Will they pay twice or three times what they pay now?  I can't say.

How much does TBS take into consideration the drastic drop Dynamite encounters after its strong Big Bang lead in when it comes to Dynamite's ratings? It's almost like the first quarter hour could be seen as a wash. Are the numbers factual? Absolutely, but wouldn't you put more emphasis on what happens after your freebie viewers are gone?

I can't say for sure but if you and I notice the drop, they do too.  Here is how I see it.  They have the opportunity to engage those fans in that first fifteen minutes.  During the two weeks when they did the semifinals and final to crown the new AEW champion, they had minimal viewer loss so that tells me that if the first quarter makes people interested, they will stay.  If they aren't interested, they tune out.  It's hard to see it any other way.  The opens of the show, which often announce the main event, makes it easy for a lot of fans to tune out and come back next week.

How hard would it for AEW to fail? I know, those seem like famous last words to be laughed at 5 years from now. If modern ratings of 900K and a .3 is a giant success, as rampant as cord cutting is, assuming AEW stays on a large network, it seems to me that it would take a colossal scandal to not be able to get a few hundred thousand people in 18-49 with a wrestling show if you're available in ~80 million homes. Rampage is full of unknowns and draws 450K, so even if Tony had to let big names go if the TV deal doesn't go his way, it seems like a pretty easy strategy for a billionaire to keep his wrestling hobby going just because of the strength of wrestling's hardcore fanbase.

As long as Tony wants to keep paying, and his Dad OKs it, even if they lost TV they can stay around for as long as Tony wants them to.  

Do you think sports competition is overemphasized when it comes to pro wrestling ratings? Big games are going to impact viewership, unquestionable. With NXT and AEW going head to head Tuesday, plus going up against major sports games and seeing how their ratings performed, it seems hard to argue that the wrestling audience for the most part, is just there.

I think it's fairly emphasized.  When Monday Night Football is on, some people who will watch Raw otherwise don't.  Or they bounce back and forth.  

How does Law & Order do as a lead in to Raw/NXT?

I haven't asked lately but last time I did, it definitely was lower than Raw.

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