On a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman sat down with Emmy-winning TV host Chris Van Vliet. The two discussed the current landscape of wrestling where AEW is setting record numbers while WWE has their ups and downs. During their discussion Van Vliet discussed the topic of ratings and how they are measured.
“Are we not just taking from a pool of wrestling fans? I don’t know if all wrestling fans will watch every single show on TV,” Van Vliet noted. “I don’t know if that still exists. We can get an entire hour about how archaic television ratings are, how incredibly archaic and ridiculous the Nielsen rating system is, so, so old school. You might as well be sending faxes with how old it is. It’s so bad.
“I would like to see, maybe one day, where we go, alright, this is the number it did on TV. This is how many YouTube views that the clips from that show got. This is how many views the tweets from that got because that’s how most people are watching it. If you don’t watch a full episode of RAW, or SmackDown or Dynamite, you’re probably watching those clips on social media, and I wonder if that will ever happen. This wouldn’t just be a wrestling thing either. It could be a Monday Night Football thing or a World Series thing, but how many people watch it on TV?
“Great, cool. Also, how many people watched it online and on all the various different outlets there? We’re all getting our cable or whatever, our television is all being provided to us digitally. I think it would just be a matter of clicking a consent box and going, yeah, you can let Nielsen or whatever right system know exactly what I’m watching and when I’m watching it, and I think most of us would go, I kind of thought that that was already happening. We’re talking about sending telegrams here when the rest of us are texting and sending email. How is that the technology that we’re using?”
Van Vliet was briefly part of AEW as an interviewer on the first ever Dynamite. Hausman asked Van Vliet if fans can expect to see more of him in AEW in the future.
“I was only asked to be part of the first show,” Van Vliet revealed. “I was asked to be part of that first episode of Dynamite October 2 live from Washington D.C., and that was it. And as someone who was a giant wrestling fan my entire life and someone who’s worked in broadcasting for my entire career, that was really really cool to be a tiny little minuscule part of that historic show, which was the first time we saw wrestling on TNT in almost 20 years. I went in. I had my very little spot with Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, and that’s all I expected it to be. I was super surprised and also really fortunate when they invited me back a few weeks later and I did something with The Rock N Roll Express in Charleston, West Virginia, but that was it.
“I never signed a contract. It was just like, ‘Do you want to be part of the first episode?’ I went, ‘Yes I do.’ It was so cool. Here we are, Dynamite just had its two-year anniversary recently. So cool to think that was two years ago. Also so cool to think how much has happened with AEW and wrestling in general, just for all of us. For you Nick, for me, for everybody listening to this, two years is a lot of time for things to change. It’s so cool to be able to look back at that moment and go, yeah, I was part of that for four seconds. It’s just a really cool time in general to be a wrestling fan, which also, in turn, means it’s a great time to be a wrestler, but it’s okay everyone. It is okay to like more than one wrestling brand. It is okay, and I feel like we need to tell people it is okay to like WWE, and AEW, and Impact Wrestling, and Ring of Honor, and MLW and New Japan. It’s okay everyone! It’s okay.”
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