Vince McMahon Addresses WWE's Attempts to Improve Ratings, If They'll Affect the Next TV Contracts

Vince McMahon took part in WWE's quarterly investors' conference call on Thursday and addressed a number of questions regarding WWE's business going forward. The first question during the Q&A segment was regarding the ratings of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown. While SmackDown has seen an increase in the past year moving to network television, the Red Brand has broken records this year for the lowest viewership in the show's decades-long history.

McMahon was asked what he intended to do about it, while Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan addressed if they'll affect the next round of television contracts with FOX and NBCUniversal.

"Firstly, consider this — when you look at television ratings in and of themselves, it's what they are. With us, it's one of our many measurements. When you get into YouTube, etc., we have far more fans now than we've ever had. When you look at television ratings, it is what it is. It's not that we don't want to increase them, of course we do. Aside from that, our total audience is much bigger. You can't just hang your hat on 'ratings are down.'"

McMahon said "we're doing everything we can" in terms of getting ratings back up, bringing up the ThunderDome. He then called for "better writing, better execution and talent people register with."

Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan then addressed the television contracts.

"In terms of the rights, linear television has lost eyeballs, viewership has not," Khan said. "So consumption of content [for us] across many, many parties is up significantly. So we're confident in being in the marketplace that our rights are going to continue to go up."


He then mentioned the ratings going up against the NHL Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA Finals.

WWE's next pay-per-view, Survivor Series, takes place on Nov. 22. Here's the full card for the show (so far):

  • WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns
  • Raw Women's Champion Asuka vs. SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks
  • Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits
  • United States Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn
  • Men's Survivor Series Match: Team Raw (AJ Styles, Keith Lee, Sheamus, TBA, TBA) vs. Team SmackDown (TBA)
  • Women's Survivor Series Match: Team Raw (Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose and Lana) vs. Team SmackDown (TBA)