WWE: Eric Bischoff Explains His Stance On Too Many Pay-Per-Views
While Eric Bischoff made his name as part of WCW during the legendary Monday Night Wars, he did spend a great deal of time with WWE after those came to an end. Even though he's not on WWE television anymore, he still keeps up with the product on a semi-regular basis, and he recently shared some thoughts on the status of WWE's pay-per-view schedule, which has been a popular point of discussion lately.
While the quality of pay-per-views will always vary, the frequency of them is what most are talking about these days. WWE already had 12 pay-per-view events before the brand split, but since then each brand is getting their own pay-per-views in between, which means you've practically got an event every few weeks.
On the latest episode of his Bischoff on Wrestling podcast (via IWNerd), he said "When I moved the PPVs from 4 to 6 per year I was considered the anti-Christ. Then WWE moved it to six and then there was eight and then there was ten and then we went to one a month. Now we are talking about twenty-four a year! The challenge along that journey was to make those PPVs feel special. They had to be a destination. Not just an event. Not just something to watch. There's already, whatever, five hours of WWE on prime time television every week? So the PPVs, especially because you're asking people to reach in to their wallet and pull out their money and pay for it, there has to be a reason. A personality, a mission involved in that PPV. In WWE they had WrestleMania and Royal Rumble. They had PPVs that were as they say in the entertainment industry "tent pole events". That even if you weren't following the storyline you knew you were going to get a bang for your buck if you bought that particular event"
Having so many "special" events starts to blur the distinction between a regular show and a pay-per-view, and Bischoff thinks it's hurting the overall product. "That gets very, very difficult to do the more events you have. It's one of the reasons I did Sturgis and why that was such an off the wall event. And the Spring Break events that we did. It's because I wanted those events to feel like something completely different from what you would ever see on television. That's a challenge now in 2016 with twenty-four PPVs a year that WWE has. How do you make those twenty-four PPVs, aside from the big four, how do you make them feel different and unique enough that people are compelled to reach in their wallet and spend money on it? That I think is the problem"
While having a plethora of wrestling content isn't a bad thing by any means, WWE does need to figure out some way to keep the pay-per-views feeling fresh and different from the weekly RAW's and Smackdowns, especially if they plan to keep up this 24 a year schedule.
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