Recently, Stephanie McMahon took part in Forbes’ CMO Summit Virtual Series. She addressed the recent viewership dip in WWE and also talked about the company’s failed attempts to win fans back.
McMahon started by saying that the lack of fan presence is one of the reasons WWE ratings have fallen. She also said that WWE experimented by bringing developmental wrestlers into the arena but even that didn’t help.
“And without them [the fans], it’s just not the same. Our ratings fell off. We tried bringing in our developmental talent to see if that would help in terms of some type of audience but it just wasn’t enough, and ultimately we had hoped to be back in arenas in the Fall but when we realized that wasn’t gonna happen, we doubled-down and invested with a new partner called The Famous Group and we now have nearly one thousand virtual fans.”
During the summit, Stephanie also hinted that WWE is working towards bringing live events back. She also revealed that WWE is seeing huge growth on YouTube and the Network.
“We’re very hopeful that there will be a return to live events of course and we will continue to produce our content but additionally, what we’ve seen is a huge increase in digital viewership.”
“Similar to what Adam [Grossman] and Kimberly [Paige] are both saying, we had an increase of 70 percent viewership across YouTube, 55 percent for WWE Network which is our direct-to-consumer platform.”
“We saw an increase in subscribers for that platform and we also pivoted our posting strategy on digital. We started posting longer form content on digital and social which in the past we hadn’t, and more historical content and we saw a huge rise in viewership there. People just really having the time. I think also to dig deep and go deep, and we’re definitely going to continue in that vein.”