|By Raj Giri||July 25, 2012 | Comments|
WrestlingINC: There has been talk that once the WWE network is launched, WWE pay-per-view as we know it is going to be totally different. Basically, the B pay-per-views would be moved to the network and then you'd only have a few pay-per-views a year. Is that the way you think they should go and do you think the network is the right move?
Court Bauer: During the Attitude Era, when the company was at its height, I think you could have done a network. You were also facing less competition in terms of channels. Hundreds less. And you had a product that people were really crazy for. You had talent depth, you had a demand for the product. It was the perfect scenario, now, it's the perfect storm for failure. I don't think the network will succeed, I don't know if it will succeed or not. I will submit to you that even the NFL hasn't done tremendous business, but they've done OK. I think you need a flagship show, for people to invest $9 or $15, whatever the price is for a network.
HBO has True Blood, they have Boardwalk Empire. Showtime has Dexter and Homeland. You need something that you can only get through the premium channel that you can't get any other way and they give you enough of that to keep you going month after month. I'm sorry bout [House Of Legends] ain't that. [Laughs.] Doing a radio simulcast ain't that. Best of WCW isn't that, best of ECW ain't that. What is it? Well, you've got to figure that out.
Bad example: Say you take WCW and, 'We'll reboot it and you won't be able to see 2 minutes of programming outside of WWE.com unless you subscribe to the channel. We're going to be bringing in Sting, Dusty and Ric Flair and a whole new generation of guys. It'll be on Tuesday nights. It'll be this product.' Then, you say, 'Oh, God. They're bringing back WCW. That's interesting. and I can't see it on Monday. The only way to see it is on this.' Then, maybe that's it.
Because if you think about it, WCW had a real stink on it about ten years ago. WWE's almost rehabbed the brand to where you see the WCW Nitro DVD, the Rise And Fall Of WCW. People still like Ric Flair, Sting is still relevant. Maybe there is something to it. But, I don't know.
To be honest, I don't know, but they have to think like that. They need to spend not just $90,000,000 or whatever it is -- that's one thing. They also need to spend $50,000,000 or a helluva lot on a flagship show. It can't be this hokey stuff that is just disposable content. It can't be disposable content. Every show I've heard about that they have in the pipe line or that they've already got in the can is exactly that: excruciatingly, disposable content. Mindless content, no game changers. They need a game changer and that's just not it.
Whether it's Paul Heyman's Extreme Wrestling Extravaganza or whatever and letting him develop something for them or bringing in Eric Bischoff and letting him develop something for them. Or Shane McMahon -- whatever it would be. I don't care, you know it won't happen. But they need something like that. Their Game Of Thrones that brings in 4 or 5 million viewers every week. People are loyal, they'll keep watching, because after Game Of Thrones comes the next show: True Blood. Whatever it is. They need their Sopranos. They can't just say they're going to put on classic wrestling mixed in with Legends Of Wrestling stuff. It won't work.
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