Vince McMahon WWE
Photo Credit: Getty, Vince McMahon attends WWE Superstars for Sandy Relief at Cipriani, Wall Street on April 4, 2013 in New York City.

How Low RAW Ratings Can Be An Early Indicator Of Things To Come For WWE & What Writers Need To Focus On

WWE RAW Ratings

RAW ratings were yet again at an all-time low this week and PWTorch‘s Wade Keller gave some insightful opinions regarding the ratings even though the TV-watching landscape is changing in today’s day and age. Keller, along with PWTorch’s “Deep Dive”‘s Rich Fann also weighed in on certain WWE writers using the excuse of a stressful schedule and three-hour time length to go after fan criticism. Quotes from Keller are below as well as the full audio (transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo at WrestleZone):

Wade Keller on WWE RAW’s TV Ratings:

TV ratings are a canary in the coalmine. They are an early indicator of what you’re producing is appealing to the very people who make you relevant and provide a reason for you to exist – which is pro wrestling fans happy with the product. And there’s nothing about what’s going on in the ‘TV landscape, the changing TV landscape’ that explains this kind of drop-off. From a 1.9 rating a year ago to under a 1.6 this year, from a 1.74 back on October 29th to a 1.58 this week. That has nothing to do with Netflix and Hulu. That has to do with putting on shows that people don’t like.

TV is the earliest indicator of whether people are just unhappy with their product. It’s something free that they can watch and they’re choosing not to. If they don’t think that predates, that that’s an indicator that there’s going to be people canceling WWE Network subscriptions due to apathy with the product once they see that payment come up in the next month or two, I think they’re fooling themselves.

On what WWE writers that criticize fan feedback should focus on:

Your job is to write a TV show and whatever window you have to rewrite a show under duress, if you are putting things in that script that you don’t believe in, then don’t defend them, but if you are putting things in that script you believe in, don’t make an excuse after the fact “well it’s hard work and I didn’t like the circumstances under which I had to write it.” So either defend what you do, or say the circumstances were such that we put out a crap product and you’re right, you’re the consumer. You’re not getting paid to watch the show. It’s a choice that you are making or not making, and if you don’t like the show, you’re not obligated to like it because the writers were under duress or stressed out or burned out writing it.

So this idea that on social media you lash out at a fan who’s critical of the product, that’s silly. If the end product is unsatisfying or frustrating to people watching it, that’s what counts. So don’t take it personally and don’t make excuses, accept the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of people who are not watching RAW now who were watching two months ago and three months ago. It’s not time to talk about how tough the job is. it’s time to assess under the circumstances that we’re writing the show, there are bad things happening and you can’t guilt people into watching because it’s stressful being a writer. Like I just don’t get that.

Listen to “Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast” on Spreaker.

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