The blog for The Solitaire Rose Experience. Yes, the blog revolution is utterly and completely over. However, I haven't figured that out yet, so I'll be listing articles, ideas, links, and other internet debris. Now, you can join in! And be mocked mercilessly!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

An observation on Professional Wrestling

I read where the head of UPN announced that they want to keep wrestling. I have also heard the only wrestling news site I trust talk about how the deal for Smackdown to run on UPN may end this year, and UPN is making more money on the sit-coms they have on Thursday nights now and the like. However, the numbers seem to tell a different story.

WWE Smackdown has settled into pulling in the 3 - 3.5 average, and usually gives UPN 4th place for the night, CONSISTENTLY pulling ahead of FOX, and when NBC is in re-runs, they get within a point of them in total households. They also come in #1 in males 18 - 34 in their time slot. Ratings have stayed the same, and their drop form moving to Friday night has been pretty negligible (from a 3.7 average to a 3.3 average). The Everyone Hates Chris lineup, which got a huge buildup, is pulling around a 2 - 2.5 on a weekly basis, and has been showing steady erosion through the season, showing a full point and a half drop from Smackdown in the same time slot, and the rest of the lineup struggles to get a 1.5 and has dropped the network from 4th place on Thursdays to 6th place behind the WB (which moved Smallville to Thursdays). The other BIG drop is after Everyone Hates Chris is over, UPN suffers a full ratings point drop from 7 to 7:30, which equated to over a million people going somewhere else. Since the sitcoms cost more (and Chris Rock is not cheap, that show is rumored to be the most expensive on UPN) and ratings are WAY down, how can this translate to more money for UPN on Thursdays? I know that the wrestling fan isn't sought after by most advertisers, but they get ads for movies aimed at young men, video games and albums, where now I see PSAs and ads for chia pets and clappers on UPN on Thursday nights, so I think the idea that sit-coms get better ads than wrestling just isn't holding up.

I think it may have been a "punishment" to move Smackdown to Fridays, but it has paid off for UPN. They get big ratings on a night that they had written off years ago, can get ads for movies, games and Maxim products, and the show is easily their cheapest to produce. On top of that, I don't think the drop in Smackdown attendance is because of the Friday night slot. It's because WWE has killed off their house show business and treat the brand as the B-team. If people won't pay money for the A-list guys, why pay the same price for the b-listers?

My prediction? UPN will keep WWE, and if they don't, I could see the WB go after them...or even Fox, since they routinely beat Fox's programming in the ratings. With shows like "Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire", Fox isn't exactly in the position to say that they are too good for wrestling.

I'm not saying I'm "in the know", but just looking at the numbers, and seeing the ads that are running, UPN has two things they can count on, the model show and WWE. Everything else they've tried has failed, and if they are going to keep running, someone would be in a lot of trouble if they handed their top show to another network.

And now that I have more time, the blog is going to get some attention.

And yesh, I say that all the time. But this time, I actually have some spare time.


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