Powell's Blog: WWE passed up an opportunity to provide unique hype for the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view

Posted in: Powell's Blog
Sep 20, 2010 - 06:17 PM

Monday, September 20 – 6:17 P.M. (CT)

It's no secret that WWE pay-per-view numbers are dwindling. The competition from UFC pay-per-views and the NFL games has never been stronger, yet WWE continues to take the same formula approach to promoting their pay-per-views.

We all know that one of the key problems with WWE pay-per-views is that the events are overpriced. Communal viewing habits? Um, sure, Vince. WWE raised the price by $5 this year, bringing the total cost up to roughly $45 for the standard feed, and as high as $55 on some systems for the HD feed.

Don't discount that second number. How many viewers who are used to watching almost everything on in HD are even going to look at the standard feed price? Some will do so to save costs, yet I remain convinced that a large number of HD television owners only look at the HD price.

Just imagine what the increase feels like for anyone who purchased an HD television during the holidays last year. They were used to paying $40 for WWE pay-per-view events for the standard feed. WWE raised the price by five bucks and then they're also expected to pay another $5 to $10 for the HD feed. If it's the latter, that's essentially a $15 price increase for WWE pay-per-view events.

The price increase isn't the only factor working against WWE. The bottom line is that their buys and revenue were down in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the same time in 2009. They have to break from their usual tired and predictable formula of promoting pay-per-view events.

The hype all sounds the same from month to month. The matches that matter are advertised on Raw or Smackdown, and the announcer hype sounds the same month after month. Many viewers have become numb to the routine hype that the company gives their own events.

WWE passed up an opportunity last night to do something different. With the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view only two weeks away, why didn't they announce at some point during the show that the main event will be the expected Kane vs. Undertaker for the World Hvt. Championship inside the Hell in a Cell structure (or whatever the main event is)?

Rather than save that likely announcement for the Smackdown television show, why not promote it directly to the people buying pay-per-view events? Make the announcement during the pay-per-view, sell it as a major happening, and plaster it all over the WWE website immediately following the show when traffic is high due to all the users who didn't order Night of Champions, yet wanted to know the results.

Plus, this would have given them an opportunity to hype that match on tonight's Raw show. I know it's a radical thought to actually provide real hype for a Smackdown match on the Raw television show, which is another topic for another day. The point is that WWE has to start thinking outside the box by straying from their usual formula approach. Quite simply, WWE has to start working harder to earn pay-per-view dollars.

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