WWE Chairman Vince McMahon appears optimistic about WWE's ability to improve TV ratings, despite the negative impact of COVID-19.
During WWE's annual shareholder's meeting back on July 16, an investor asked about the continued downturn in WWE TV ratings and how management plans to improve those ratings for the longterm. Vince took the question and touted WWE's impressive track record.
"We have a thirty-plus year track record of creating compelling characters and engaging a variety of audiences," Vince said. "And we obviously remain confident we can continue that with our collective ability. Even in the most challenging environments with no live audience. The media ecosystem obviously has changed, and we change with it.
"Our engagement metrics across platforms are understandably, and obviously, however, the importance of linear programming is paramount in all of our businesses. We consistently have seen year-over-year increases in a variety of digital metrics and engagement, and positive trends have continued, even during COVID."
Vince continued and noted how, despite the lack of a live TV audience during the COVID-19 era, RAW has remained the #1 show on the USA Network and SmackDown has held the top spots among key demographics.
"Conversely, TV viewership trends have been negatively impacted by the COVID, obviously, and note the lack of a live audience," he said. "We are still nonetheless the #1 television show on USA [Network] and consistently the #1 broadcast show on Fridays among key demos.
"We expect a combination of valuable promotional inventory from our TV partners with the return of sports events programming, and a deep roster of charismatic talent will have a positive impact on viewership over the longterm."
You can hear the audio from Vince's answer below, courtesy of Brandon Thurston on Twitter:
WWE CEO Vince McMahon responds to a shareholder question about what the company will do to improve TV ratings, from the annual shareholder meeting on Jul 16.— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) July 26, 2020
"We have a 30-plus year track record of creating compelling characters and engaging a variety of audiences..." pic.twitter.com/XV9EjFgyeG