The Variety Intelligence Platform has a new article looking at four main issues facing WWE that are threatening the company’s bottom line. It was noted that the stock may continue to fall over the next few months based on four issues the company is facing – the decline in TV ratings, the decline in kids audience, money owed from the 10-year deal with Saudi Arabia, and backlash over the independent contractor status of talents, mainly the recent comments from former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
Regarding the TV decline, VIP noted that WWE RAW has lost around 2 million viewers for most of their 2020 episodes versus 2015 levels. Exclusive data from pollsters YouGov shows that the main reasons behind the decline has to do with low-quality writing in the storylines.
YouGov polled 471 adults aged 18 or older who used to watch at least one of WWE NXT, RAW, SmackDown or AEW Dynamite. They collected the following data on reasons why United States viewers stopped watching pro wrestling on TV:
* 30% – It seemed more cartoonish than when I liked it
* 29% – Storylines were not as good/interesting
* 28% – Characters were not as good/interesting
* 26% – Matches were not as good/interesting
* 14% – The content was more geared toward children
* 9% – Announcing was not as good
* 7% – The show wasn’t listening to the fans
* 24% – Other
* 12% – Not sure
YouGov also polled 1,200 adults aged 18 or older on the viewing status of pro wrestling among adults in the United States. The following data was collected:
* 43% – I have never watched any shows or series
* 43% – I used to watch professional wrestling, but no longer do
* 12% – I currently watch professional wrestling regularly or occasionally
* 2% – I don’t know
Fans who no longer watch pro wrestling in the United States were also polled. YouGov asked 652 adults aged 18 or older who no longer watch pro wrestling, about wrestling shows they used to watch. The following data was collected:
* 55% – WWE RAW
* 55% – WWE SmackDown
* 10% – WWE NXT
* 3% – AEW Dynamite
* 28% – None of the above
You can read Variety’s full report on their website.