Eric Bischoff recently spoke with the MackMania Podcast, where he claimed Tony Khan won’t invite him to another AEW show. The two men have feuded online, trading comments back and forth throughout the past several months. Eric believes that is because he has made comments about AEW not growing.
“I have been beating this drum, and this is one of the reasons why Tony probably thinks I am a pain in his ass at this point. I’ll never get invited to another AEW event, which is okay. I am a little sad about that, but I get it, I don’t take it personally,” he said. “But I’ve been saying for over a year now when it comes to AEW. And this is why I am concerned about their dirt sheet booking approach, booking for the internet if you will. Is that if you’re not growing, you’re dying.”
Eric Bischoff then went into detail breaking down the true need for AEW to grow more as a company. He believes with Discovery’s merger with WarnerMedia places pressure on the company. For him, AEW needs to start hitting one of three targets in order for Discovery to want to invest.
“Here’s where Tony’s at right now, he’s got a year and a half, two years left on his existing agreement with Turner. There is a new company coming to town, there is a new sheriff in town, his name is David Zaslav. He works for a company called Discovery,” Eric said. “They now own all the Turner properties.
“Well, if you come in, and you acquire one property in television, and you look at that programming schedule, and you look at the revenue that’s generated by it because this is all about making money. My first question is going to be, ‘OK, we’ve got this beachfront, also called primetime. We’ve got this beachfront property here on Wednesday nights, how is that doing?’ Well, the audience isn’t growing, ‘OK, well, they’re young, we’ll give it some time.’
“Let’s look at it a different way, ‘are they improving upon their lead-in?’ Because that’s another formula that’s very important when you’re a programmer. Not when you’re a wrestling fan, but when you’re a programmer and you’re a $350- or $550,000-a-year salary, your stock options are dependent on how well you manage that beachfront property. So, if you’re looking at that beachfront property, and the audience isn’t really growing, and they don’t really outperform their lead-in, okay, two strikes.
“‘Hey, who’s here from ad sales? OK, Mr. or Mrs. ad salesperson, how are the ad sales going for this product? Are you getting premium ad dollars for it? Are you getting mid-tier advertising for it? Or are you kind of getting bottom feeder opportunistic ad buys?’ Because, for the most part, wrestling is still a little bit of a tough sell.
“If the answer comes back, ‘Well, we are kind of just plugging along, we are getting some action in the ad sales, but it’s a lower tier, opportunistic kind of buys. And the audience isn’t really growing, and we are not really outperforming our lead-in,’ those are kind of three things that are really working against you when somebody comes in and decides whether they want to redevelop that beachfront property to be more profitable, or if they want to leave it the same. And that’s why I saw growing is so important.”
Eric Bischoff then discussed people who compare the ratings online. In his opinion, the people that do that are just creating stats for a specific narrative. That is something he called Tony Khan out for, as Eric doesn’t see how AEW is competitive with WWE.
“I would venture to guess 99% of the people who talk about it on social media when they are constantly comparing ratings, or even statisticians that are cramming all this data in there and they’re using that data to paint the picture they want the narratives to be. That was one of the things I called Tony Khan out in the first place,” he said. “Stop comparing yourself to WWE, you’re not competitive in any measurable way. But the more you try to convince people you are, the dumber you look because it’s insulting. “
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit MackMania Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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