Eric Bischoff On The Importance Of WWE's Live Events And Their Strong Numbers

During a recent episode of "Strictly Business," Eric Bischoff discussed WWE turning around their live event business post-pandemic.

"The live event turnaround, to me, is the strongest indicator of all. That's kind of the pulse," Bischoff said. "There's a lot of revenue streams that get you to the end result. But the one revenue stream that I think is the most interesting, maybe not the most important, is the live event attendance. Because I think that's about as close of a direct connection that you can get on the pulse of the audience."


"If they're not buying a ticket to come and watch the product live, that obviously suggests that the product on television just really isn't that compelling," he added. "They may still watch it because it's a habit, but you probably won't go to an event. Once you start turning things around on television, the first indicator — obviously other than the ratings, that's easy to track — but the live event attendance, to me, is putting your hand right on the jugular to get a pulse. That tells you exactly what's going on in the minds of your audience."

Live Event Business Was Suffering In 2019

Bischoff noted that when he returned to WWE in 2019 as an executive director, he spent the first couple of months meeting with department heads and getting to know their processes. What he found was that live events were in trouble.


"So I got to spend a lot of time with the folks that were heading up the live event side. They were getting their ass kicked," Bischoff said. "Those numbers were horrible. It was interesting because when I was there in 2019, the stock was around $70-74 and people were pretty damn excited about that. There were elements of the company that were, from a revenue perspective, still functioning very well and the stock reflected that. But the one obvious weakness to me at least was people were just not going to live events."

Bischoff stated they did have serious discussions about how the live event portion of the business had evolved and was perhaps no longer viable. Whether it be because of viewing habits or the cost to attend, WWE considered doing fewer house shows pre-pandemic. Now, four years later, WWE is reporting record revenue.


If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Strictly Business" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.