According to an SNL Kagan report, WWE has done its homework, and thinks it has the potential to be of interest to fully half of America’s TV households. That is about 57 million homes for those of you keeping score at home.
WWE says that about 20% of that group, 12 million or so, are hard core fans who know the wrestlers, are on top of what’s going on and watch regularly on the channels that show it – prominently including USA, ION and SyFy, among others.
40% are casual fans – they’ll watch on occasion, but are not heavily invested in the programming.
The other 40% are what WWE thinks of as lapsed fans – they used to watch some wrestling but have not done so for a period of time, and perhaps could be coaxed back.
Other sports have had to answer questions about whether or not there is an audience for around-the-clock programming dedicated entirely to their product, and the answer, they believe, is yes there is.
The theory is that the availability of content builds the appetite for even more – and WWE cites the NFL’s dedicated channel as an example.
In addition to the steady production of new material, the company says it has 100,000 hours worth of material in its archives, ready to be polished up and put out there for new usage.
The dream to get a 24-hour channel together most likely will not be fulfilled by creation of another basic service. According to SNL, MVPDs are not anxious to add any more consent fees to their overhead. So if the WWE dream is to come true, expect some form of pay service as the vehicle of choice.