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Panic time in 3...2...1...

http://www.f4wonline.com/more/more-top-stories/118-daily-updates/27660-raw-rating-was-a

Uh oh.  2.7 means the return of Mr. McMahon next week I'd bet, and endless skits and references to the NFL and how they're a bunch of poo-poo heads.  Look for at least one DID YOU KNOW about how WWE triumphed in some way over the NFL in any way they can lie about.  This is gonna get ugly.  Especially with the same pattern of giant viewership drops in the third hour.  

Comments

  1. We've seen the ratings get low and have said the same things. Yet we're fed the same stuff week after week. 

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  2. This may say more about the train wreck that is the NFL refereeing situation than about WWE.

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  3. Can't wait for all the people to jump in and blame Punk's heel turn. If only they let him still be a babyface, he'd be pulling sixes right now...

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  4. Best case is this elicits a change from the three hour format

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  5. If it did, it would have to come from USA. WWE gets big money from them for the 3 hours. WWE isn't going back anytime soon.

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  6. DID YOU KNOW: WWE matches are better officiated?

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  7. Perhaps, but not even cracking 4 million viewers is pretty bad. 

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  8. It'll be interesting to see how hour three of the program fairs going forward.  For the majority of weeks to this point, the first hour has been the one dragging down the overall rating.  That sort of made sense at first, given that fans aren't conditioned to watch it like they are the rest of RAW.  It has ticked up a little from where it was, but is still typically below the average rating.  There have been several weeks now though (even before MNF started back up) where the 2nd hour is the highest rated of the show and the third is dropping viewers.  It's a bad position to be in -- the first hour continues to be soft and now the third hour is probably showing signs of viewer burnout because the program is so long, plus it'll likely be faced with strong competition from MNF the rest of the year.

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  9. "As our research shows that three hours is not enough time to engage the WWE Universe in a compelling story, RAW is moving to four hours starting next week!"

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  10. I'm not surprised at the ratings dropping for this show at all.

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  11. WWE: "John Cena main event interview!"
    Viewers: *CLICK*

    WWE: "Hmmm...must be Punk's fault."

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  12. NFL is King right now regardless of the ref situation. NFL actually acknowledges its rich history and tradition unlike WWE. The interactive experience with Fantasy Football, Madden, Sunday Ticket, and such is something WWE just can't compete with that and certainly doesn't have the creative brass (Steph, Vince, Gewirtz) to. 

    Plus Roger Godell is the biggest heel in sports or entertainment right now. 

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  13. Methinks if they would've kept Punk face and turned Cena heel, they wouldn't be experiencing a down-tick in the ratings. 

    However, since they live in what seems like an eternal rinse/repeat type of show, it's not surprising that ratings go up and down like this.  As much as I can't stand the 3 hour RAWS which I can't even bother to watch anymore, my guess is that it might go right back to where they were last week depending on who is playing on MNF.

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  14. Honestly I don't even want to see a Cena heel turn until the creative team improves. Cena would be hot for like 2 weeks before the angle imploded. 

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  15. If I was in charge, I'd bag the first hour by turning it into squash matches and recaps, then focus on 9-11 as the part with the angles and main event matches. No more main event interviews. Maybe this would fix the problem of have two hours of good show with a shitty hour tacked on the end. If they focused on 9-11 and made the first hour easy to book/deal with, they'd probably churn out a better show, and now lose people in the ratings. The first hour might not be as strong as the other two, but it will be better than whatever a random episode of NCIS pulled in the slot for USA before, and really, that's all they care about. 

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  16. Wasn't it USA that wanted the third hour in the first place? As long as it gets better ratings than whatever USA would put in instead, it may stick around for a while.

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  17. Clearly the solution is to put Cena in every spot. Have him be a constant presence on the show. Have him on commentary, but have the camera frequently cut to him.

    That'll keep the viewers hooked and they'll be back in the 4's.

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  18. I think that the ref situation might actually be helping their ratings. I know a couple people who are tuning in to games they normally wouldn't bother with just to see how much worse the reffing can get.

    And Fidel Goodell (™Papi) can eat a dick, I've been boycotting the NFL since the season before last, and will not watch another game while he is still commissioner. Even him getting shitcanned probably won't bring me back, I just can't deal with the childish and/or thuggish behavior of the players anymore. I've also found that not bothering with football has actually affected my life in a positive way, it's something that I used to just get pissed of about 16 Sundays a year (being a 49ers fan who lives in Buffalo has not been kind over the last decade or so), and now that I'm not betting on games anymore I have more money in my pocket.

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  19. I know, my point is that USA would change their mind way before WWE ever does.

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  20. They really need to just go back to 2 hours, and USA needs to realize that the extra money that they're paying for the 3rd hour is going to be a bad investment in the long term. If WCW, who had the biggest roster ever and a better creative team (yes, that's how bad it's gotten, they're worse than 1998 WCW) couldn't do it, than 2012 WWE doesn't even have a chance. If I were them I'd make it from 8 to10 instead of 9 to 11, at least until the end of football season. Works better for the PG audience, I wouldn't be surprised if some the declining 3rd hour ratings are just kids getting sent to bed, and going 8-10 would put the main event match/interview right at about halftime of the NFL game.

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  21. They can't touch the NFL, it's stupid to think they can, and it's more stupid to get all upset, confused and offended because the most popular sport in the world right now is drawing better ratings. As much as they like to think they're up there or in the same category as the NFL (when it's convenient to be) they're not. Doing skits or snide remarks about the NFL will just make them look sad. How does that help? Who is it meant for? The people who are already watching Raw over the NFL? Do they think some dad is going to catch part of Raw with his son and re-think his life long interest in the NFL because Vince McMahon is mocking it, then go to work the next day and tell his football loving coworkers that Raw is where it's at? The NFL and Raw happen to both me on Monday Night. That's the only comparison.

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  22. They need to get the people booking NXT to book the Raw shows.

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  23.  But with the short memory of wrestling fans they'll probably forget who was feuding with who and why in the first hour by the third hour. We're going to need some recaps in between.

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  24. "Doing skits or snide remarks about the NFL will just make them look sad."

    And that is what the Brad Maddox segment accomplished.

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  25.  Awesome!  It'll be like WrestleMania every week.

    WrestleMania IV that is...

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  26. Respectfully disagree...in fact, if you look at the target market, I think they need to drop the third hour and move the time slot to 8-10. That means you get more kiddies awake for the entire show. We've got Cena in hour three main event slots when his audience is tucked in already.

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  27. If they could book Raw matches a week or two in advance, they could use the first hour to show "preliminary" matches (jobber matches) and promote the big Raw match for later in the night. It's a good way to give guys they're trying to establish some exposure and wins.

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  28. Yup, it just seems like time and time again, the WWE thinks they can repeat WCW's mistakes and make it work.  Three hours of wrestling once a month, sure.  Every week?  It's brutal unless you can do a PPV caliber show every single week -- and you can't do that.

    In the end, you just end up downgrading the perception of your show, because no matter how good it is, you're almost never going to have people walking away from saying, "Wow!  What a great show!"  TNA seems to have that down -- but it helps a ton that they aren't on TV long enough to overstay their welcome.  1.5 or 2hrs is the sweet spot, I think.

    I don't know, maybe they don't care, because they get paid in other ways, no matter what the ratings show.  For consumers of their product, it sucks.

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  29. Because you keep eating it.

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  30. Maddox played his part well, just the NFL eyepatch gag didn't work. Especially when you consider considerable prep work by Heyman to get that produced, yet the reveal was more spur of the moment...something about the way he said it, unless he always carries around that eye mask it doesn't make sense.

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  31. I want at LEAST 30 minutes of Cena's rehab routine with the rubber bands. Show his 30 seconds of reps, watch him check his pulse and take a swig of water while timing his 60 second break, then back to the set of reps. Compelling...get it on my TV!!!

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  32.  I alluded to that with an e-mail to Scott a few weeks back.  The other shows may have smaller goals, but they still accomplish them.  I might also consider giving more responsibilities to the folks who have been overseeing the mid-card the last two weeks.

    Overreacting to ratings, historically speaking, spells disaster.  And if there's another thing we've learned it's that ratings improve over a period of time.  Months of strong shows + a spark (to get people talking) = better ratings.

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  33. The ratings are only poor compared to WWE past performance and NFL present.  From USA's perspective, what would they replace the extra hour of Raw with?  Right now, Raw pulls in about 3x as many viewers as NCIS reruns do.  The extra hour, although it sucks from a booking and talent depth perspective, is still drawing more eyes in over that time period than anything else on USA save a Royal Pains episode.  Continue to expect mediocrity until people stop tuning in enough to matter. 

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  34. One other thing that makes 3 hour Raws stupid: having your free TV show being a half hour (give or take) longer than your $50 PPV. That's just brainless.

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  35. USA will also certainly look at the cost to produce an episode of Raw vs. airing a network rerun (NCIS, SVU) or a network original (Burn Notice, Royal Pains, etc.)

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  36. I feel the same way. At this point they wouldn't be able to sustain it. If Cena turns heel, he's got to turn heel as fuck, and that's going to involve a complete creative shift, something the team right now doesn't seem built for.

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  37.  As does everyone here.

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  38. Exactly. WWE could panic but USA isn't going to at all. Like the replacement refs issue in the NFL, it's a non-issue as long as there's money and ad revenue still going, a 2.7 isn't the end of the world and it's still lucrative for USA on Monday nights regardless.

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  39. No they won't. It'll be cheap, but the reruns still means reducing your audience by 300%. It's not like USA is posting a loss on a 2.7 by any stretch of the imagination, only the IWC's.

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  40. Exactly. Even the best PPVs give me my fill at 2:45, 3-hour RAWs are insane. The sad thing is that there's enough good right now with Punk and the revived tag division (including Bryan/Kane on fire, pun intended) to make a decent 2-hour show.

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  41. First hour full of nothing but recaps and promos? So you'd turn Raw into a perfect replica of a Kevin Nash booked Nitro?

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  42. NUH UNH!!! Not ChinWins, cuz his kids aint watching it.

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  43. You're a 49ers fan and didn't watch the playoffs last year?!? And won't watch it this year even if they go all the way?

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  44. I don't think you can reduce an audience by 300% - maximum reduction is 100% (that brings it to zero). Otherwise the audience becomes a negative size (though anything is possible in the WWF)

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  45. Or reducing it 3 times over, 3 mil to 1 (what most of their signature reruns usually draw, though that's pretty damn good for reruns). I'm sleep deprived (college), bear with me.

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  46. Move Burn Notice to Mondays or at the very least repeat the new Episode that aired on Thursday.  

    Burn Notice + Raw would be rating juggernaut for them. 

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  47. and MLB Playoffs start in a few weeks.....not looking good. 

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  48. With a quick google search, in Feb. 2012, on USA, NCIS avg 3.4 million viewers. So Raw does nowhere near 3x as many viewers.

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  49. Punk has been champion for 316 days next Monday

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  50. If that means we'll get to hear Jesse Ventura give a shout out to Terry, Tyrel, and Jade every week, then I'm down with that like neckbone!

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  51. You are right.  They are a lot closer in ratings than I originally thought.  The top NCIS re-runs get 2.1's (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-09-25/u-dot-s-dot-cable-television-ratings-for-the-week-ended-sept-dot-23).  Some of their other series (Covert Affairs, White Collar) have near WWE ratings. 

    The 3x number was for the 18-49 demographic (http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/09/25/monday-cable-ratings-monday-night-football-rules-night-sportscenter-monday-night-raw-chrissy-mr-jones-ti-tiny-more/150031/).

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  52. You are right.  They are a lot closer in ratings than I originally
    thought.  The top NCIS re-runs get 2.1's
    (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-09-25/u-dot-s-dot-cable-television-ratings-for-the-week-ended-sept-dot-23). 
    Some of their other series (Covert Affairs, White Collar) have near WWE
    ratings. 

    The 3x number was for the 18-49 demographic
    (http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/09/25/monday-cable-ratings-monday-night-football-rules-night-sportscenter-monday-night-raw-chrissy-mr-jones-ti-tiny-more/150031/).

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  53.  Maybe they have not the pressure for the smaller shows. For RAW they maybe think too much about instead of letting the feuds speak for themselves.

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  54. 3 million to 1 million would actually be a 66.6666...% reduction :)

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  55. But doesn't WWE have more facebook followers than all NFL teams combined? Didn't you know that?

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  56.  I've said the same thing about the ratings. How many people are watching now just to see what the refs do next??? I still wonder if this was all a ploy by the NFL to net ratings, maybe they've learned from the WWE? Wouldn't be a shock if this was all a plan and the refs are all in on it, I mean it is a big business, and the only thing that matters is business, screw the fans. Isn't that what Mr. McMahon has taught us for the last twenty or more years, business first, fans never?

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  57. ...its on like neckbones...

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  58.  Agree 100% on that. They need to plan shit out in advance, announce three or four big matches for the following week, hell even the main event for two weeks in advance. Then at least it doesn't look like the damn show is booked on a used napkin. They also need to find a better balance of matches/other stuff, say 75/25 would be a good ratio. Let guys like Kofi, Dolph, Kidd, Sandow, Rhodes, etc go out and do 15 minute plus matches, have a great 30 min plus main event. Make the show look like must see TV again. Also stop jobbing the damn champions and top contenders every week, it's pathetic and annoying to watch. Can you imagine if the SNME before Wresltemania III they had Andre get pinned by Billy Jack Haynes or King Kong Bundy pin Ricky Steamboat? They have the talent they just need to figure out how to use it and book it. Finally we don't need to see the champion or all the main guys each week. Make the title matches mean something by having a title match once in a while, and have shows without Punk, Cena, Orton, ADR, Sheamus each week, rotate them around randomly. Would keep thing fresh and exciting. Ok, rant done.

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  59.  Could this reveal a secret alliance with Stone Cold Steve Austin and the cast of Redneck Island? Tune it Monday to find out. It's the greatest night of television in history...until next week.

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  60.  What are you studying by the way?

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  61. Plan it out weeks in advance? They can't even plan it out a full episode by monday night

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  62. Roger Goodell is just a figurehead.  His bosses are the owners, and he does whatever they tell him to do.  If the owners agreed to the two-tier pension/401k that the refs have already agreed to, this deal could get done today.

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  63. A coincidence like that is too good to pass up. Which means they will. 

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  64. Not too surprising, the last hour of the show was pretty useless.

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  65.  please google the actual ratings before throwing numbers like that out.  just search cable nielsen ratings and they come up pretty easy.  The audience in no way goes down by 300% or even 66%.  And the cost for Raw is easily 3 and 4 times the cost of running a rerun.  Yes, USA may continue to be OK running Raw at a 2.7 rating, but they won't be willing to pay the same price.  I have no idea if USA gets a cut of ancillary revenue for ppv, DVD, merchandise, etc.  but if they don't, then simple math shows that reruns are a more profitable way to go than Raw doing 2.7 or lower ratings. 

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  66.  you have to factor in cost.  A show can get double the ratings the previous show got, but if it costs five times as much, then it's less profitable.  And that is without getting into the issues WWE has with selling ADs due to the stigma of wrestling.  Generally another show getting a 2.7 can sell ad space for higher amounts than a 2.7 on Raw due to "prestige." 

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  67. It is a simple equation.  Assuming USA isn't getting a cut of other revenue (merchandise, ppv, etc.) then they have to factor in cost vs. revenue, not just ratings.  Now the nice thing about a third hour is the cost is limited.  Most of the production costs are sunk already.  You pay the crew a little longer, few other odds and ends, but a third hour is nowhere near as costly as producing the original first hour.  That said, if Raw costs 3 times as much to produce per hour as a rerun of CSI and CSI gets 2/3 of the ratings, then CSI reruns are much more profitable.  And as I mentioned below, WWE still struggles with getting the same ad rates as other programs due to the stigma of wrestling fans with advertisers.  A 2.7 for WWE will not get the same ad rate as a 2.7 for Burn Notice or CSI.  As for WWE wanting to pull the plug, they have to factor in the balance of additional revenue with a third hour with viewer fatigue that leads to a loss of interest and revenue in the other areas such as merchandise, house shows, ppvs, dvd sales, etc. 

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  68. People grossly overestimate the appeal of Punk. Ratings would be exactly the same as they are now if he was a face because the overall quality and writing of the shows suck. Punk is no Austin or Rock who can move the needle just by showing up. He's nowhere near that level and never will be.

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  69. It's a 2 way street.  USA clearly wants the time as they are asking for it.  They can bring in (younger) eyes which don't watch the NCIS reruns and may be a more valuable advertising demographic.  WWE can always say no, but there's additional $ from USA which will be left on the table.  At this point, I'm not sure if the WWE can produce 2 hours of coherent programming a week on Raw...if USA's buying 2 hours worth of crap, why not make it 3?  They may be mortgaging their future for money now, but how does that makes them different from the rest of corporate America?

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  70. I keep trying to correct myself (comment system isn't getting it).  You are right...it isn't 3x.  Highest rated NCIS's are pulling in 2.1's to Raw's 2.7's.  The difference is in the 18-49 demographics where Raw is pulling in 3x as many.  Sorry for the mistake.  That said, the eyes watching Raw are unique to the rest of USA's programming.  They may see any high cost for Raw as a loss leader to get those people to watch other USA programming.  Of course, all of this is speculative.  Who knows what the real motivation is.

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  71. The wresting demographic may not be favorable compared to a similar audience, but it is probably no less sought after than the NCIS demographic that skews older.  The reverse mortgage advertising market isn't that cutthroat.

    It's not unreasonable to assume that USA could pull in 50K/15 minutes in
    ad revenue based on info from Ad Age.  If that's the case, then USA
    could pay up to $10M and still cover.  I'm not sure what the cost will be of running that NCIS, but it's a function of what else you can put on to draw eyes and what you can charge for said eyes.

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  72. USA is in a constant battle to win the weekly cable ratings, so a 2.7 from Raw in prime time is very valuable to them vs. the 2.1 NCIS was drawing.

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  73. I doubt it's a poly to get ratings, you pull stupid stunts like that when the league is tanking, not when you're more popular than you've ever been. This is nothing more than reminding everyone that while fans are paying to see the people on the field, Fidel Goodell and his 32 billionaires are the ones running things, and everyone best not forget it. Guy is like the Dana White of the NFL, a complete douchebag that thinks he is bigger than the sport and it's talent.

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  74.  ad execs I know disagree with you.  Right or wrong, and I would argue more wrong, wrestling  fans are seen as hicks with no money.  It's why you rarely see ads for cars, insurance, or other more "prestigious" items.  It's all candy, video games, etc.  The cost of running NCSI is very low.  You purchase reruns at a price.  Each time the reruns are shown, the cost goes down.  At this point the cost of NCSI is very low.  Furthermore while younger viewers are sought after for some products and because they supposedly are more swayable to change brands or try brands, older viewers are also sought after because they have higher income levels.  A brief talk with ad execs or even a google search for some articles will tell you that the 1990s golden age of only caring about 18-35 or even 18-49 is over and ad execs are much more interested in how demographics match up with their specific product and the income/education levels of the viewers.  Because of this the stigma towards wrestling fans has actually become MORE pronounced (strangely at a time where I would argued that wrestling fans are more similar to the general populace than ever before) these days than during the Attitude era.

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  75. The problem isn't Cena or Punk or anything like that. The problem is that *nothing* has happened on Raw in weeks. The big 'must see' moment last week? Punk had his foot on a rope. This week? Mick Foley appeared. Yoshi Tatsu has been on Raw less than Foley in the last five years. And all he did was talk! The exciting end to the show was the world champion looking scared at a rookie who hasn't had a storyline yet. Why does that make me want to watch next week? Because he might save someone else from an attack? 

    Episodic TV is meant to make me not want to miss the next episode. We haven't been given anything that makes us not want to miss. Whether it's a hyped up match or a cliffhanger end, give me a reason to tune in!

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  76. I'd figure that
    there'd be some additional premium paid for each additional showing of an
    episode...if not, then that explains the marathons that seem to show up every holiday.

    There's also the matter of when NCIS is getting those ratings.  Getting 2.1 ratings at 4 in the afternoon is one thing, but how well will it do against MNF, The Voice, Revolution, Bones, and DWTS/Bachelor?  WWE's 2.7 has to be graded on a curve.  NCIS is running 2-7 on M, 2-1 on W, 2-11 on Th, plus whatever marathons come along for the ride.  Hell, my wife has it on and she's barely watching it the entire time.  I wonder if there's also a discount provided for shows that are not original series?

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  77. I remember as a kid there is no way I would miss raw. But today I imagine young kids could miss a month of the show and pick up with out missing anything

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  78. NFL, baseball playoffs, and the NBA season starts 10/30. I don't see RAW cracking a 3 until rock comes back

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  79. Come back to the fold. Harbaugh is a great coach, the dark days of mike singletary disgracing the best organization in football are dead and buried. Fun team to watch. Yeah the qb is garbage but harbaugh has coached him up to mediocrity and the defense and oline are out of the world

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  80.  You make a good point about the ability of different shows to compete in various time slots.  That's why a program exec has a difficult job.  So many factors to think about.  We have had this discussion about ratings, mostly in relation to TNA, several times on another board I frequent that has some folks who work in advertising, some folks that work or did work in wrestling and some folks in the entertainment industry in general so there is quite a bit of knowledge. 

    I remember SNL cast members and writers complaining about Comedy Central showing the reruns so much that the royalty checks got to be almost nothing,.  They would get stacks of 12 cent checks. 

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  81. Revolution will be canceled faster than aka Pablo.

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  82. I don't think I missed a Monday night during the Monday Night Wars era. 

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  83. Now would be a fantastic time to start watching 9ers games...

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  84.  I know, it's wishful thinking. There used to be a time when they'd plan the shows out in advance, now they're usually booking while the show is on. It shows.

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  85. But is that even for sure? It's safe to assume Rock probably won't be back until December. At that point World Series would be long over, but NBA would be in full swing and the NFL would be at Week 16-17/starting their playoffs.

    Advantage NFL.

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