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A Demand for a Comprehensive PPV Buyrate List


Guest The Jiz
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Estimates for the other feds:

 

WCW Starrcade 1987 (11/26/1987): 3.3 buyrate x 7297766 homes = 240,826 buys. (As Bix points out, this is INSANELY high considered that only 4 major systems carried the PPV, should be more like 20,000 buys according to WON)

 

WCW Bunkhouse Stampede (1/24/1988): 3.5 buyrate x 7504200 homes = 262,647 buys.

WCW Great American Bash 1988 (7/10/1988): 2.2 buyrate x 8350050 homes = 183,701 buys.

AWA SuperClash III (12/13/1988): 0.5 buyrate x 9054925 homes = 45,274 buys.

WCW Starrcade 1988 (12/26/1988): 1.8 buyrate x 9054925 homes = 162,988 buys. ( comment on NS list was "Approximately 125,000 buys with estimations ranging from 100,000 to 150,000")

 

WCW Chi-Town Rumble (2/20/1989): 1.5 buyrate x 9568483 homes = 143,527 buys.

WCW WrestleWar 1989 (5/7/1989): 1.3 buyrate x 10686233 homes = 138,921 buys.

WCW Great American Bash 1989 (7/23/1989): 1.5 buyrate x 11431400 homes = 171,471 buys.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1989 (10/28/1989): 1.77 buyrate x 12549150 homes = 222,119 buys.

WCW Starrcade 1989 (12/13/1989): 1.3 buyrate x 13294316 homes = 172,826 buys. ("THE's Starcade series has also seen buy-rates fall from a 2 in 1989 to a 1.1 for last year's show, according to industry sources." - Multichannel News 12.n27 (July 8, 1991) "WWF, Turner wrestle with PPV problems")

 

WCW WrestleWar 1990 (2/25/1990): 1.6 buyrate x 13899766 homes = 222,396 buys.

WCW Capital Combat (5/19/1990): 1.4 buyrate x 14598366 homes = 204,377 buys.

WCW Great American Bash 1990 (7/7/1990): 1.7 buyrate x 15064100 homes = 256,089 buys.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 (10/27/1990): 1.3 buyrate x 15762700 homes = 204,915 buys.

WCW Starrcade 1990 (12/16/1990): 1.3 buyrate x 16228433 homes = 210,969 buys. ( ("THE's Starcade series has also seen buy-rates fall from a 2 in 1989 to a 1.1 for last year's show, according to industry sources." - Multichannel News 12.n27 (July 8, 1991) "WWF, Turner wrestle with PPV problems")

 

"In fact, PPV wrestling accounted for approximately $72 million of the nearly $150 million generated by PPV events in 1990, said Sharon Sidello, vice president of PPV TV for Turner Home Entertainment." - Multichannel News 12.n27 (July 8, 1991) "WWF, Turner wrestle with PPV problems"

 

WCW WrestleWar 1991 (2/24/1991): 1.2 buyrate x 16763105 homes = 201,157 buys.

WCW Superbrawl I (5/19/1991): 1.04 buyrate x 17668520 homes = 183,752 buys.

UWF Beach Brawl (6/9/1991): 0.1 buyrate x 17970325 homes = 17,970 buys.

WCW Great American Bash 1991 (7/14/1991): 1 buyrate x 18272130 homes = 182,721 buys.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1991 (10/27/1991): 0.8 buyrate x 19177545 homes = 153,420 buys. (Halloween Havoc 1991: "..generated close to a 1 percent buy-rate" - "'Loyal' wrestling fans help Turner PPV event." Multichannel News 11/4/1992 )

WCW Starrcade 1991 (12/29/1991): 1 buyrate x 19781155 homes = 197,811 buys. (Starrcade 1991: "Nationally, the event garnered a 1 percent buy-rate, according to industry sources." "Turner to try credit cards again." Multichannel News (April 20, 1992))

 

WCW Superbrawl II (2/29/1992): 0.96 buyrate x 20740640 homes = 199,110 buys.

WCW WrestleWar 1992 (5/17/1992): 0.61 buyrate x 21398320 homes = 13,0529 buys.

WCW Beach Blast 1992 (6/20/1992): 0.4 buyrate x 21727160 homes = 86,908 buys.

WCW Great American Bash 1992 (7/12/1992): 0.4 buyrate x 22056000 homes = 88,224 buys.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1992 (10/25/1992): 0.9 buyrate x 23042520 homes = 207,382 buys.

WCW Starrcade 1992 (12/28/1992): 0.5 buyrate x 23700200 homes = 118,501 buys.

 

WCW Superbrawl III (2/21/1993): 0.5 buyrate x 24379980 homes = 121,899 buys.

WCW Slamboree 1993 (5/23/1993): 0.5 buyrate x 25432800 homes = 127,164 buys.

WCW Beach Blast 1993 (7/18/1993): 0.5 buyrate x 26134680 homes = 130,673 buys.

WCW Fall Brawl 1993 (9/19/1993): 0.46 buyrate x 26836560 homes = 123,448 buys.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1993 (10/24/1993): 0.5 buyrate x 27187500 homes = 135,937 buys.

WCW BattleBowl (11/20/1993): 0.27 buyrate x 27538440 homes = 74,353 buys.

WCW Starrcade 1993 (12/27/1993): 0.55 buyrate x 27889380 homes = 153,391 buys.

 

WCW Superbrawl IV (2/20/1994): 0.5 buyrate x 28508410 homes = 142,542 buys. (

WCW Spring Stampede 1994 (4/17/1994): 0.53 buyrate x 29044590 homes = 153,936 buys.

WCW Slamboree 1994 (5/22/1994): 0.48 buyrate x 29312680 homes = 140,700 buys.

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994 (7/17/1994): 1.02 buyrate x 29848860 homes = 304,458 buys.

WCW Fall Brawl 1994 (9/18/1994): 0.53 buyrate x 30385040 homes = 161,040 buys.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1994 (10/23/1994): 0.97 buyrate x 30653130 homes = 297,335 buys. (higher than the 220,000 buys on NS list, "operators estimate the event, which featured Hogan and Ric Flair in a steel cage match, generated around a 1 percent buy-rate." -Multichannel News 10/31/94 (Turner wrestling scores)

AAA When Worlds Collised (11/6/1994): 0.24 buyrate x 30921220 homes = 74,210 buys. (spreadsheet had this at 44,000 buys)

WCW Starrcade 1994 (12/27/1994): 0.6 buyrate x 31189310 homes = 187,135 buys.

 

"The WCW's pay-per-view numbers have doubled since Hulk Hogan walked through the door last summer, but it's not clear that this kind of growth can continue. The WCW generated about $13 million from pay-per-view last year." - Viva Hulk! By: Kimelman, John, FW, 00152064, 2/14/95, Vol. 164, Issue 4 (Article opens with a BURIAL of Kevin Nash)

 

 

WCW Superbrawl V (2/19/1995): 0.95 buyrate x 31459116 homes = 298,861 buys.

WCW Uncensored 1995 (3/19/1995): 0.96 buyrate x 31460833 homes = 302,023 buys.

WCW Slamboree 1995 (5/21/1995): 0.57 buyrate x 31464266 homes = 179,346 buys.

WCW Great American Bash 1995 (6/18/1995): 0.51 buyrate x 31465983 homes = 160,476 buys.

WCW Bash at the Beach 1995 (7/16/1995): 0.82 buyrate x 31467700 homes = 258,035 buys.

WCW Fall Brawl 1995 (9/17/1995): 0.48 buyrate x 31471133 homes = 151,061 buys.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1995 (10/29/1995): 0.6 buyrate x 31472850 homes = 188,837 buys.

WCW World War 3 1995 (11/26/1995): 0.43 buyrate x 31474566 homes = 135,340 buys.

WCW Starrcade 1995 (12/27/1995): 0.36 buyrate x 31476283 homes = 113,314 buys.

 

WCW Superbrawl VI (2/11/1996): 0.6 buyrate x 31764263 homes = 190,585 buys.

WCW Uncensored 1996 (3/24/1996): 0.7 buyrate x 32050526 homes = 224,353 buys.

WCW Slamboree 1996 (5/19/1996): 0.44 buyrate x 32623053 homes = 143,541 buys.

WCW Great American Bash 1996 (6/16/1996): 0.48 buyrate x 32909316 homes = 157,964 buys.

WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 (7/7/1996): 0.71 buyrate x 33195580 homes = 235,688 buys.

WCW Hog Wild 1996 (8/10/1996): 0.62 buyrate x 33481843 homes = 207,587 buys.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 (9/15/1996): 0.65 buyrate x 33768106 homes = 219,492 buys.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1996 (10/27/1996): 0.7 buyrate x 34054370 homes = 238,380 buys.

WCW World War 3 1996 (11/24/1996): 0.55 buyrate x 34340633 homes = 188,873 buys.

WCW Starrcade 1996 (12/29/1996): 0.95 buyrate x 34626896 homes = 328,955 buys.

 

"The company is averaging between a 0.8 percent and a 0.9 percent, slightly above last year's figures." - regarding 1996 WCW PPV business, Multichannel News, Dec 2 1996

 

 

WCW Souled Out 1997 (1/25/1997): 0.47 buyrate x 34913160 homes = 164,091 buys.

WCW Superbrawl VII (2/23/1997): 0.75 buyrate x 35025475 homes = 262,691 buys.

WCW Uncensored 1997 (3/16/1997): 0.89 buyrate x 35137791 homes = 312,726 buys.

WCW Spring Stampede 1997 (4/6/1997): 0.58 buyrate x 35250107 homes = 204,450 buys.

ECW Barely Legal (4/13/1997): 0.2 buyrate x 35250107 homes = 70,500 buys. (this seems high; "ECW Barely Legal: "A pay-per-view event, "Barely Legal," garnered 45,000 buys, and Extreme Championship Wrestling muscled its way into the big time. More PPV shows and 150 annual live arena events generated buzz on the Internet among wrestling fans." - from a "The Marketing 100" in Advertising Age, 6/26/2000, Vol. 71 Issue 27, ps33, 1/5p)

WCW Slamboree 1997 (5/18/1997): 0.6 buyrate x 35362423 homes = 212,174 buys.

WCW Great American Bash 1997 (6/15/1997): 0.6 buyrate x 35474739 homes = 212,848 buys.

WCW Bash at the Beach 1997 (7/13/1997): 0.89 buyrate x 35587055 homes = 316,724 buys. (Jay Hassman in 7/20/98 Multichannel News claimed this was 500,000 buys)

WCW Road Wild 1997 (8/8/1997): 0.65 buyrate x 35699370 homes = 232,045 buys.

ECW Hardcore Heaven 1997 (8/17/1997): 0.21 buyrate x 35699370 homes = 74,968 buys.

WCW Fall Brawl 1997 (9/14/1997): 0.53 buyrate x 35811686 homes = 18,9801 buys.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1997 (10/26/1997): 1.1 buyrate x 35924002 homes = 395,164 buys. (Multichannel News, Jan 12 1998 had this PPV at 500,000 buys)

WCW World War 3 1997 (11/23/1997): 0.56 buyrate x 36036318 homes = 201,803 buys.

ECW November to Remember 1997 (11/30/1997): 0.2 buyrate x 36148634 homes = 72,297 buys.

WCW Starrcade 1997 (12/28/1997): 1.9 buyrate x 36148634 homes = 686,824 buys. (above the 650,000 estimate; Multichannel News 3/1/99 article had them at 625,000 buys)

 

WCW Souled Out 1998 (1/24/1998): 1.02 buyrate x 36260950 homes = 369,861 buys.

WCW Superbrawl VIII (2/22/1998): 1.1 buyrate x 36310541 homes = 399,415 buys.

ECW Living Dangerously 1998 (3/1/1998): 0.23 buyrate x 36360133 homes = 83,628 buys.

WCW Uncensored 1998 (3/15/1998): 1.1 buyrate x 36360133 homes = 399,961 buys.

WCW Spring Stampede 1998 (4/19/1998): 0.72 buyrate x 36409725 homes = 262,150 buys.

ECW Wrestlepalooza 1998 (5/3/1998): 0.24 buyrate x 36459316 homes = 87,502 buys.

WCW Slamboree 1998 (5/17/1998): 0.72 buyrate x 36459316 homes = 262,507 buys.

WCW Great American Bash 1998 (6/14/1998): 0.75 buyrate x 36508908 homes = 273,816 buys.

WCW Bash at the Beach 1998 (7/12/1998): 1.5 buyrate x 36558500 homes = 548,377 buys. (close to the 600,000 buys estimate)

ECW Heat Wave 1998 (8/2/1998): 0.2 buyrate x 36608091 homes = 73,216 buys.

WCW Road Wild 1998 (8/8/1998): 0.93 buyrate x 36608091 homes = 340,455 buys.

WCW Fall Brawl 1998 (9/13/1998): 0.7 buyrate x 36657683 homes = 256,603 buys.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 (10/25/1998): 0.78 buyrate x 36707275 homes = 286,316 buys.

ECW November to Remember 1998 (11/1/1998): 0.23 buyrate x 36756866 homes = 84,540 buys.

WCW World War 3 1998 (11/22/1998): 0.63 buyrate x 36756866 homes = 231,568 buys.

WCW Starrcade 1998 (12/27/1998): 1.15 buyrate x 36806458 homes = 423,274 buys.

 

ECW Gulity as Charged 1999 (1/10/1999): 0.24 buyrate x 36856050 homes = 88,454 buys.

WCW Souled Out 1999 (1/17/1999): 0.78 buyrate x 36856050 homes = 287,477 buys.

WCW Superbrawl IX (2/21/1999): 1.15 buyrate x 37097382 homes = 426,619 buys.

WCW Uncensored 1999 (3/14/1999): 0.77 buyrate x 37338715 homes = 287,508 buys.

ECW Living Dangerously 1999 (3/21/1999): 0.22 buyrate x 37338715 homes = 82,145 buys.

WCW Spring Stampede 1999 (4/11/1999): 0.6 buyrate x 37580047 homes = 225,480 buys.

WCW Slamboree 1999 (5/9/1999): 0.45 buyrate x 37821380 homes = 170,196 buys.

ECW Hardcore Heaven 1999 (5/16/1999): 0.2 buyrate x 37821380 homes = 75,642 buys.

WCW Great American Bash 1999 (6/13/1999): 0.43 buyrate x 38062712 homes = 163,669 buys.

WCW Bash at the Beach 1999 (7/11/1999): 0.4 buyrate x 38304045 homes = 153,216 buys.

ECW Heat Wave 1999 (7/18/1999): 0.26 buyrate x 38304045 homes = 99,590 buys.

WCW Road Wild 1999 (8/14/1999): 0.54 buyrate x 38545377 homes = 208,145 buys.

WCW Fall Brawl 1999 (9/12/1999): 0.29 buyrate x 38786710 homes = 112,481 buys.

ECW Anarchy Rulz 1999 (9/19/1999): 0.23 buyrate x 38786710 homes = 89,209 buys.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1999 (10/24/1999): 0.52 buyrate x 39028042 homes = 202,945 buys.

ECW November to Remember 1999 (11/7/1999): 0.21 buyrate x 39269375 homes = 82,465 buys.

WCW Mayhem 1999 (11/21/1999): 0.45 buyrate x 39269375 homes = 176,712 buys.

WCW Starrcade 1999 (12/19/1999): 0.32 buyrate x 39510707 homes = 126,434 buys.

 

March 2000: "WCW PPV events this year have averaged a 0.28 buy-rate, down about 50 percent from an 0.55 buy-rate in 1999. The 1999 buy-rate also fell about 50 percent from the 1.03 WCW pulled in 1998, according to the company." March 27, 2000 Multichannel News (WCW OVERHAULS PPV UNIT MANAGEMENT)

 

ECW Events as of 1999: "ECW currently averages around 70,000 to 75,000 buys per event, which pales in comparison with average six-figure buy numbers for the monthly PPV events staged by WCW and the WWF." - Acclaim's ECW deal includes equity piece., Multichannel News; 11/29/99, Vol. 20 Issue 49, p34, 2/7p

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Halloween Havoc seems to have had a habit of drawing more buys than Starrcade.

 

All the NWA/WCW figures seem really high to me. Are these accurate?

They certainly might. Some of those buyrate numbers could be just for the systems that were carrying WCW which might not have had the same coverage that WWF did at first - i.e. 1.0 buyrate BUT it was only for 85% as many systems as the WWF universe of PPV-capable homes.

 

I'd have to review the articles that I quoted previously to get a better idea but in general I would apply at least some adjustments.

 

Based on what I noticed for actuals versus my estimate for WWF: I was about 20% high for WWF 1990-1992 (so multiply my buys estimate by 83% to correct), okay for 1993, about 25% high for 1994-1997 (multiple my buys estimates by 80%) and near for 1998-1999.

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I thought the gap in the late 80s and early 90s would have been a lot bigger than that tbh.

 

For example, Superbrawl II apparently got 199,110 buys, Royal Rumble 92 got 361,493. I'd have expected a bigger gap just going on the perception of where the two companies are at that point.

 

WCW seemed regularly to be drawing 200,000 buys in a period when they are meant to be doing really badly, that's not too shabby. Obviously some of the Wrestlemania and Summerslam numbers are close to tripling that, but the gap is way smaller than I expected.

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I thought the gap in the late 80s and early 90s would have been a lot bigger than that tbh.

 

For example, Superbrawl II apparently got 199,110 buys, Royal Rumble 92 got 361,493. I'd have expected a bigger gap just going on the perception of where the two companies are at that point.

 

WCW seemed regularly to be drawing 200,000 buys in a period when they are meant to be doing really badly, that's not too shabby. Obviously some of the Wrestlemania and Summerslam numbers are close to tripling that, but the gap is way smaller than I expected.

Well, let's look at my inaccurate totals:

 

1988: 609,336 / 1,137,785 (both had 3 PPVs counted)

1989: 848,864 / 1,952,160 (both had 5 PPVs counted)

1990: 1,098,746 / 1,980,935 (WCW had 5 PPVs vs 4 PPVs for WWF)

1991: 918,861 / 2,000,740 (both had 5 PPVs)

1992: 830,654 / 1,509,062 (WCW had 6 PPVs vs 4 WWF PPVs)

1993: 866,865 / 1,655,749 (WCW had 7 PPVs vs 5 WWF PPVs)

1994: 1,387,146 / 1,658,853 (WCW had 7 PPVs vs 5 WWF PPVs)

1995: 1,787,293 / 2,328,524 (WCW had 9 PPVs vs 10 WWF PPVs)

1996: 2,135,418 / 2,462,666 (WCW had 10 PPVs vs 12 WWF PPVs)

1997: 3,391,341 / 2,597,296 (both had 12 PPVs)

1998: 4,054,303 / 4,541,002 (both had 12 PPVs)

1999: 2,540,882 / 5,709,750 (both had 12 PPVs)

 

Up until Hogan arrived, WWF had twice as many buys each year often times via less PPVs. That seems to be consistent with some of the articles I found that mention WWF buyrates at approximately twice that of WCW. Then the competition started to heat up and the gap closed and in calendar year 1997, it looks like WCW might have even won (though I'd have to dig into that to be sure). Then, it collapsed in 1999.

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Yeah, I'm not debating the figures. I guess I always thought that WWF were killing WCW at a much bigger ratio, more like 5:1 than double.

 

I think this perception is partly down to the massive gap in gates where you have WWF shows doing 50,000 at the same time as WCW's most major shows are struggling to get 5,000.

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WWF WrestleMania VII (3/24/1991): 2.8 buyrate x 17064910 homes

Ah, so THIS is what Gorilla was rambling about during WM7. What he meant was, it was the largest available pay-per-view audience to the date that could have potentially purchased that particular event. Yeesh, talk about seedy.

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So, I was going through WWF 1985-2012 (haven't gotten around to adding in 2013 stuff) results and adding up the estimated # of buys for each event to coordinate with the wrestlers that were on the show (sans rumbles). I didn't do any manipulating to just attribute buys for main events or anything (so Ivan Putski does get to be part of the Wrestling Classic buys and we learn that Kelly Kelly can take credit for 5.46 MILLION buys). I threw CCTV buys in with PPV buys for this just because.

 

It's no surprise to tell you that the list is very skewed towards people who have been wrestling through the boom into the 2000s - hence Triple H, Undertaker, Kane all do great.

 

1. Triple H: 134 PPVs ( 50,144,576 buys )

2. the Undertaker: 138 PPVs ( 48,644,127 buys )

3. Glen Jacobs: 122 PPVs ( 44,919,863 buys )

4. Edge: 105 PPVs ( 41,790,052 buys )

5. Chris Jericho: 99 PPVs ( 39,272,757 buys )

6. the Big Show: 102 PPVs ( 37,552,306 buys )

7. Shawn Michaels: 100 PPVs ( 34,018,741 buys )

8. John Cena: 101 PPVs ( 32,801,000 buys )

9. Randy Orton: 93 PPVs ( 30,408,000 buys )

10. Kurt Angle: 66 PPVs ( 29,350,070 buys )

11. Christian: 73 PPVs ( 28,640,432 buys )

12. The Rock: 60 PPVs ( 26,532,584 buys )

13. Rey Mysterio Jr: 78 PPVs ( 25,984,000 buys )

14. Matt Hardy: 68 PPVs ( 25,540,671 buys )

15. John Bradshaw Layfield: 61 PPVs ( 25,513,335 buys )

 

Still, my favorite metric was looking at average buys per PPV. If you just take the absolute, the Wrestlemania celebs win (Snooki, Mayweather, Akebono, Maria Menounos, etc.).

However, if you add the 10+ PPV critiera, there is five people for averaged above 500k/buys per PPV event-- the world's greatest stable: Tazz, Andre the Giant, Sable, The Honkytonk Man and Perry Saturn.

 

(Now, if I did everyone's top 10 PPVs, the list would shift back to similar to the overall top ten - HHH, Kane, Taker, Orton, Cena, Edge, Jericho, HBK, JBL, Rey, Christian, Rock, Angle, Trish, Matt Hardy, Shelton Benjamin, Punk, Booker T, Benoit, Foley, Batista, Dudleyz, Jeff Hardy, Flair, Eddie, Billy Gunn, X-Pac, Austin, Hogan, Ron Simmons)

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Guest Nell Santucci

I've been working my way through the thread and cross-referencing all of the information. First of all, great job by everyone. As I said before, I've long been working on looking at these things. From 2000-onwards, there is a wealth of SEC materials (especially the periodic financial 10-Q) filings which have a lot of juicy nuggets about PPV buys. The hard part was always 1985-1999, which is being filled in quite nicely here.

 

There's a really nice spreadsheet at http://prowrestlinghistory.com/supercards/eventinfo.xls that lists all of the PPVs and has a "PPV buyrate" next to many of the events. It's certainly as fallible as every single other list out there. However, since it fills in a lot of gaps, I thought I would try an experiment where I would take the buyrates from the spreadsheet and push them up against the "# of PPV capable homes" from the Broadcasting Appendix table that I found. (I did use an even slope for every year so the universe "expands" as the year goes by. In reality, I'm sure these expansions were hardly linear, but since the overall universe expansion was roughly linear, I decided to just go with it.)

 

WWF (comparisons to other numbers already listed in this thread)

 

WWF WrestleMania I (3/31/1985): 1.1 buyrate x 2119195 homes = 23,311 buys. (JNLister: 398,000 (CCT) and a negligibly small number of PPV buys)

WWF Wrestling Classic (11/7/1985): 2.5 buyrate x 4710599 homes = 117,764 buys. (this seems high - estimates previously were 43k to 60k buys)

 

WWF WrestleMania II (4/7/1986): 7 buyrate x 5654650 homes = 395,825 buys. (250,000 in NS list, JNLister: 319,000 (Closed Circuit Television) and Andre the Giant's handful on PPV.)

 

WWF WrestleMania III (3/29/1987): 8 buyrate x 6472033 homes = 517,762 buys. ( 400,000 (PPV); 450,000 (CCT); 450,000 (Closed Circuit Television) and another 400,000 on PPV)

WWF Survivor Series 1987 (11/26/1987): 7 buyrate x 7297766 homes = 510,843 buys. (this seems high: 325,000 in NS list)

 

WWF WrestleMania IV (3/27/1988): 6.5 buyrate x 7786150 homes = 506,099 buys. ( 485,000; JNLister: 175,000 (Closed Circuit Television), Approx 650,000 on PPV)

WWF SummerSlam 1988 (8/29/1988): 4.5 buyrate x 8491025 homes = 382,096 buys. (this seems low; estimate was 500,000 in NS list and 400,000 in Observer notes)

WWF Survivor Series 1988 (11/24/1988): 2.8 buyrate x 8913950 homes = 249,590 buys. (this is close - 310,000 buys)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1989 (1/15/1989): 1.5 buyrate x 9195900 homes = 137,938 buys. (this is close = 165,000 buys)

WWF WrestleMania V (4/2/1989): 5.9 buyrate x 10313650 homes = 608,505 buys. (this is low,767,000 buys is the common number)

WWF SummerSlam 1989 (8/28/1989): 4.8 buyrate x 11803983 homes = 566,591 buys. (numbers between 575,000 and 625,000 have been published)

WWF Survivor Series 1989 (11/23/1989): 3.3 buyrate x 12921733 homes = 426,417 buys. (this is a little higher than the 385,000 number)

WWF No Holds Barred (12/27/1989): 1.6 buyrate x 13294316 homes = 212,709 buys. ("Gross buys for the four showings of the movie and the event, DeVito estimated, was 300,000." - Broadcasting Jan 1 1990)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1990 (1/21/1990): 2 buyrate x 13666900 homes = 273,338 buys. (this is close to 260,000)

WWF WrestleMania VI (4/1/1990): 4.5 buyrate x 14365500 homes = 646,447 buys. (this is higher than then 550,000 to 560,000 number)

WWF SummerSlam 1990 (8/27/1990): 3.8 buyrate x 15296966 homes = 581,284 buys. (this is close to the 550,000 number though the article from 7/8/91 had the buyrate higher up at 4.3)

WWF Survivor Series 1990 (11/22/1990): 3 buyrate x 15995566 homes = 479,866 buys. (this is above the 400,000 number)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1991 (1/19/1991): 2.4 buyrate x 16461300 homes = 395,071 buys. (this is below the 440,000 number)

WWF WrestleMania VII (3/24/1991): 2.8 buyrate x 17064910 homes = 477,817 buys. (this is higher than the 400,000 number)

WWF SummerSlam 1991 (8/26/1991): 2.7 buyrate x 18573935 homes = 501,496 buys. (this is VASTLY above the 375,000 to 405,000 numbers) - however the 9/2/91 article calls it "608,000 buys"

WWF Survivor Series 1991 (11/27/1991): 2.2 buyrate x 19479350 homes = 428,545 buys. (this is much higher than the 300,000 number)

WWF Tuesday in Texas (12/3/1991): 1 buyrate x 19781155 homes = 197,811 buys. (this is slightly above the 140,000 number)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1992 (1/19/1992): 1.8 buyrate x 20082960 homes = 361,493 buys. (this is above the 260,000 number)

WWF WrestleMania VIII (4/5/1992): 2.3 buyrate x 21069480 homes = 484,598 buys. (this is above the 360,000 to 390,000 numbers)

WWF SummerSlam 1992 (8/29/1992): 1.5 buyrate x 22384840 homes = 335,772 buys. (this is above the 285,000 number)

WWF Survivor Series 1992 (11/25/1992): 1.4 buyrate x 23371360 homes = 327,199 buys. (this is above the 250,000 number)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1993 (1/24/1993): 1.25 buyrate x 24029040 homes = 300,363 buys. (this is below the 430,000 number or was that for WM?)

WWF WrestleMania IX (4/4/1993): 2 buyrate x 25081860 homes = 501,637 buys. (this is above the 430,000 number)

WWF King of the Ring 1993 (6/13/1993): 1.1 buyrate x 25783740 homes = 283,621 buys. (this is close to the 245,000 number)

WWF SummerSlam 1993 (8/30/1993): 1.3 buyrate x 26485620 homes = 344,313 buys. (this is above the 250,000 number)

WWF Survivor Series 1993 (11/24/1993): 0.82 buyrate x 27538440 homes = 225,815 buys. (this is near the 180,000 number)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1994 (1/22/1994): 0.9 buyrate x 28240320 homes = 254,162 buys. (this is above the 200,000 number)

WWF WrestleMania X (3/20/1994): 1.68 buyrate x 28776500 homes = 483,445 buys. (this is near the 420,000 number)

WWF King of the Ring 1994 (6/19/1994): 0.85 buyrate x 29580770 homes = 251,436 buys. (this is above the 185,000 number)

WWF SummerSlam 1994 (8/29/1994): 1.3 buyrate x 30116950 homes = 391,520 buys. (this is much higher than the 300,000 number)

WWF Survivor Series 1994 (11/23/1994): 0.9 buyrate x 30921220 homes = 278,290 buys. (no estimate in NS list)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1995 (1/22/1995): 1 buyrate x 31457400 homes = 314,574 buys. (this is above the 225,000 number)

WWF WrestleMania XI (4/2/1995): 1.3 buyrate x 31462550 homes = 409,013 buys. (this is above the 340,000 number)

WWF In Your House #1 (5/14/1995): 0.83 buyrate x 31464266 homes = 261,153 buys. (this is above the 180,000 number)

WWF King of the Ring 1995 (6/25/1995): 0.65 buyrate x 31465983 homes = 204,528 buys. (this is above the 150,000 number)

WWF In Your House #2 (7/23/1995): 0.7 buyrate x 31467700 homes = 220,273 buys. (this is above the 155,000 number)

WWF SummerSlam 1995 (8/27/1995): 0.9 buyrate x 31469416 homes = 283,224 buys. (this is above the 205,000 number)

WWF In Your House #3 (9/24/1995): 0.7 buyrate x 31471133 homes = 220,297 buys. (this is above the 160,000 number)

WWF In Your House #4 (10/22/1995): 0.4 buyrate x 31472850 homes = 125,891 buys. (this is above the 90,000 number)

WWF Survivor Series 1995 (11/19/1995): 0.57 buyrate x 31474566 homes = 179,405 buys. (no estimate)

WWF In Your House #5 (12/17/1995): 0.35 buyrate x 31476283 homes = 110,166 buys. (no estimate)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1996 (1/21/1996): 1.1 buyrate x 31478000 homes = 346,258 buys. (this is above the 290,000 number or was this for WM?)

WWF In Your House #6 (2/18/1996): 0.75 buyrate x 31764263 homes = 238,231 buys.

WWF WrestleMania XII (3/31/1996): 1.2 buyrate x 32336790 homes = 388,041 buys. (this is above the 290,000 number)

WWF Good Friends, Better Enemies (4/28/1996): 0.65 buyrate x 32336790 homes = 210,189 buys.

WWF Beware of Dog #1 (5/26/1996): 0.45 buyrate x 32623053 homes = 146,803 buys.

WWF Beware of Dog #2 (5/28/1996): 0.45 buyrate x 32623053 homes = 146,803 buys. (this was the make-up airing)

WWF King of the Ring 1996 (6/23/1996): 0.6 buyrate x 32909316 homes = 197,455 buys.

WWF International Incident (7/21/1996): 0.37 buyrate x 33195580 homes = 122,823 buys.

WWF SummerSlam 1996 (8/18/1996): 0.58 buyrate x 33481843 homes = 194,194 buys.

WWF Mind Games (9/22/1996): 0.48 buyrate x 33768106 homes = 162,086 buys.

WWF Buried Alive (10/20/1996): 0.4 buyrate x 34054370 homes = 136,217 buys.

WWF Survivor Series 1996 (11/17/1996): 0.58 buyrate x 34340633 homes = 199,175 buys.

WWF It's Time (12/15/1996): 0.35 buyrate x 34626896 homes = 121,194 buys.

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1997 (1/19/1997): 0.7 buyrate x 34913160 homes = 244,392 buys.

WWF The Final Four (2/16/1997): 0.5 buyrate x 35025475 homes = 175,127 buys.

WWF WrestleMania XIII (3/23/1997): 0.77 buyrate x 35137791 homes = 270,560 buys. (this is above the 237,000 number)

WWF Taker's Revenge (4/20/1997): 0.5 buyrate x 35250107 homes = 176,250 buys.

WWF A Cold Day in Hell (5/11/1997): 0.57 buyrate x 35362423 homes = 201,565 buys.

WWF King of the Ring 1997 (6/8/1997): 0.5 buyrate x 35474739 homes = 177,373 buys.

WWF Canadian Stampede (7/6/1997): 0.59 buyrate x 35587055 homes = 209,963 buys.

WWF SummerSlam 1997 (8/3/1997): 0.8 buyrate x 35699370 homes = 285,594 buys. (this was above the 250,000 number)

WWF Ground Zero (9/7/1997): 0.45 buyrate x 35811686 homes = 161,152 buys.

WWF Badd Blood 1997 (10/5/1997): 0.6 buyrate x 35924002 homes = 215,544 buys.

WWF Survivor Series 1997 (11/9/1997): 0.89 buyrate x 36036318 homes = 320,723 buys.

WWF D-Generation X (12/7/1997): 0.44 buyrate x 36148634 homes = 159,053 buys.

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1998 (1/18/1998): 0.97 buyrate x 36260950 homes = 351,731 buys.

WWF No Way Out 1998 (2/15/1998): 0.52 buyrate x 36310541 homes = 188,814 buys.

WWF WrestleMania XIV (3/29/1998): 2.3 buyrate x 36360133 homes = 836,283 buys. (this was above the 730,000 number)

WWF Unforgiven 1998 (4/26/1998): 0.85 buyrate x 36409725 homes = 309,482 buys.

WWF Over the Edge 1998 (5/31/1998): 0.58 buyrate x 36508908 homes = 211,751 buys.

WWF King of the Ring 1998 (6/28/1998): 0.85 buyrate x 36508908 homes = 310,325 buys.

WWF Fully Loaded 1998 (7/26/1998): 0.9 buyrate x 36558500 homes = 329,026 buys.

WWF SummerSlam 1998 (8/30/1998): 1.63 buyrate x 36608091 homes = 596,711 buys. (this was below that debated 700,000 number)

WWF Breakdown (9/27/1998): 0.86 buyrate x 36657683 homes = 315,256 buys.

WWF Judgment Day 1998 (10/18/1998): 0.89 buyrate x 36707275 homes = 326,694 buys.

WWF Survivor Series 1998 (11/15/1998): 1.3 buyrate x 36756866 homes = 477,839 buys.

WWF Rock Bottom (12/13/1998): 0.78 buyrate x 36806458 homes = 287,090 buys.

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1999 (1/24/1999): 1.88 buyrate x 36856050 homes = 692,893 buys. (this was above the 650,000 buys)

WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre (2/14/1999): 1.21 buyrate x 37097382 homes = 448,878 buys.

WWF WrestleMania XV (3/28/1999): 2.32 buyrate x 37338715 homes = 866,258 buys. (this was above the 800,000 number)

WWF Backlash 1999 (4/25/1999): 1.06 buyrate x 37580047 homes = 398,348 buys.

WWF Over the Edge 1999 (5/23/1999): 1.1 buyrate x 37821380 homes = 416,035 buys.

WWF King of the Ring 1999 (6/27/1999): 1.13 buyrate x 38062712 homes = 430,108 buys.

WWF Fully Loaded 1999 (7/25/1999): 0.94 buyrate x 38304045 homes = 360,058 buys.

WWF SummerSlam 1999 (8/22/1999): 1.61 buyrate x 38545377 homes = 620,580 buys. (this was slightly below the 650,000 number)

WWF Unforgiven 1999 (9/26/1999): 0.85 buyrate x 38786710 homes = 329,687 buys.

WWF No Mercy 1999 (10/17/1999): 0.84 buyrate x 39028042 homes = 327,835 buys.

WWF Survivor Series 1999 (11/14/1999): 1.14 buyrate x 39269375 homes = 447,670 buys.

WWF Armageddon 1999 (12/12/1999): 0.94 buyrate x 39510707 homes = 371,400 buys.

 

On average, I'm low for 1988/1989, about 20% high for 1990-1992, okay for 1993, about 25% high for 1994-1997 and near for 1998-1999. I didn't correlate all of my article blurbs with this list yet - I used the buyrate estimates that came from the ProWrestlingHistory spreadsheet.

Wow, please send me all your sources too. I'd like to go over them. I suspect some of these numbers are high. (For the Dec. 1995 IYH, I had the number at close to 80000.) But thanks a ton for doing the work for me. ;) I'll update this stuff when I get the time once I examine what Meltzer's numbers are for key events and the discrepancy that your numbers give. I'll use basically an intuitive type of statistics to see how well those numbers pass (basically a standard deviation of sorts). Super work.

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Guest Nell Santucci

Some other tidbits I collected from Multichannel News and other magazines:

 

"WCW Starrcade (1997)- Up until the December 1997 Starrcade event, the Time Warner lnc.-owned World Championship Wrestling outfit was considered by most industry observers second fiddle to the World Wrestling Federation. But after ringing up 625,000 buys and grossing $18 million - and then following up with other impressive PPV performances, the WCW clearly established itself as a force to be reckoned with for the future." - Multichannel News , March 1 1999 (Best of the Rest)

 

"Bash at the Beach (1997) - 500,000 buys said Jay Hassman, PPV director at Time Warner Inc." - Multichannel News, July 20 1998 (Mailman Delivers for Cable PPV Managers.)

actual quote was " He predicted that the final tally (for 1998's Bash at the Beach) would indicate a total of around 600,000 buys. Hassman added that WCW was hoping only to match last year's Bash mark of 500,000 buys."

 

"Wrestlemania (1998) - Wrestlemania XIV event pulled in more than 700,000 buys, and that event still stands as the most successful PPV program of the year." - Multichannel News, June 22 1998

 

Halloween Havoc (1998) - 500k buys ".. bested WCW's previous high of approximately 500,000 buys, set in October (1998).. " - Multichannel News, Jan 12 1998

 

"The company is averaging between a 0.8 percent and a 0.9 percent, slightly above last year's figures." - regarding 1996 WCW PPV business, Multichannel News, Dec 2 1996

 

"Operators did say, however, that TitanSports' January WWF Royal Rumble (1995) and Turner Home Entertainment's February SuperBrawl V (1995) and March WCW Uncensored (1995) enjoyed moderate success." - Multichannel News, May 15 1995

 

Halloween havoc (1994): "Buoyed by the appearance of former World Wrestling Federation icon Hulk Hogan, Turner Home Entertainment's Oct. 20 Halloween Havoc drew nearly double the buy-rates normally associated with WCW events, operators said. Although Turner representatives could not be reached for comment, operators estimate the event, which featured Hogan and Ric Flair in a steel cage match, generated around a 1 percent buy-rate." -Multichannel News 10/31/94 (Turner wrestling scores)

 

Starrcade 1991: "Nationally, the event garnered a 1 percent buy-rate, according to industry sources." "Turner to try credit cards again." Multichannel News (April 20, 1992)

 

Halloween Havoc 1991: "..generated close to a 1 percent buy-rate" - "'Loyal' wrestling fans help Turner PPV event." Multichannel News 11/4/1992

 

"In fact, PPV wrestling accounted for approximately $72 million of the nearly $150 million generated by PPV events in 1990, said Sharon Sidello, vice president of PPV TV for Turner Home Entertainment. In the last few years, however, buy-rates for both WCW and WWF events have fallen. For example, 1991's Wrestlemania VII generated a 3.5 percent buy-rate, down from 1990's Wrestlemania VI's 4.5 percent buy-rate in 1990 and Wrestlemania V's 5.6 percent buy-rate in 1989. THE's Starcade series has also seen buy-rates fall from a 2 in 1989 to a 1.1 for last year's show, according to industry sources. Some industry observers point to an expansion of the PPV addressable universe as a reason for the shrinking buy-rates. But some operators finger the increase in prices for the events, particularly the WWF shows, as the primary cause of the decline. As buy-rates fell for Wrestlemania, the price rose from $24.95 for Wrestlemania V to $29.95 for Wrestlemania VI and VII. Similar patterns have occurred with SummerSlam (4.8 buy-rate at $18.50 in 1989, 4.3 buy-rate at $27.50 in 1990) and Royal Rumble (3.2 at $14.95 in 1989, 2.8 at $18 in 1990 and 2.2 at $22.50 in 1991)." - Multichannel News 12.n27 (July 8, 1991) "WWF, Turner wrestle with PPV problems"

 

Wrestlemania VII: "The event, which sold at a suggested retail of $29.95, generated around 800,000 buys and earned a preliminary buy-rate of 4.8 to 4.9 percent, said Skip Desjardin, manager of PPV marketing for Titan's World Wrestling Federation. But industry sources inside the PPV industry estimated Wrestlemania VII buy-rates at 3.5 to 4, probably closer to the lower number. Those sources said last year's Wrestlemania earned a 5.0. "We're happy with it," Desjardin said. "Anytime you generate $24 million (PPV revenues) in one day, it's positive." Desjardin added, however, that the event was down from last year's, which generated 825,000 buys, a 5 percent buy-rate." - April 8, 1991 (Multichannel News) "'Wrestlemania VII' buys down"

 

Summerslam 1991: "Skip Desjardin, manager of PPV marketing for TitanSports, estimated that the event garnered a "disappointing" 3.6 percent buy-rate, 15 percent lower than last year's national buy-rate. Despite the low buy-rate, Desjardin said, the event "still generated a large amount of money for the industry." At 608,000 buys, Titan would have grossed roughly $16.7 million.Another operator said the WWF has hiked prices 45 percent since 1988, when the event was $18.50" - 9/2/91 Multichannel News "SummerSlam' PPV buy-rates termed disappointing."

 

Wrestlemania VIII: "The event generated a "very preliminary" buy-rate of under 4 percent, said Skip Desjardin, manager of PPV marketing for Titan. He added that the event will most likely fall below last year's event from both revenue and total-buy standpoints, although Titan only had 400 out of more than 2,000 systems reporting at presstime. Wrestlemania VII generated around a 3.5 percent buy-rate, according to sources." - April 13 1992 (Multichannel News) 'Wrestlemania VIII' buys slump.

 

WBF: "The event, the first for Titan's recently created bodybuilding federation, generated a 0.1 to 0.2 percent buy-rate, with a number of systems reporting numbers below 0.1 percent, accordipg to operators." (Multichannel News, Titan WBF event offers little lift - June 22 1992)

 

Summerslam 1993: "The event generated a little less than a 2 percent buy-rate, operators said, which would place it slightly below the 2.3 percent the show earned last year." -Multichannel News (9/6/93) "SummerSlam stems buy-rate skid. "

 

Summerslam 1994: "Buy-rates for the event were up as much as 10 percent over last year, said Titan Sports. The event generated nearly 400,000 buys, slightly above the 360,000 buys the event drew in 1993, said Skip Desjardin, manager of PPV marketing for Titan. Operators pegged the buy-rate at about a 1 to a 1.5 percent." - Multichannel News (9/12/94) "Pizza pies help Titan 'SummerSlam' score dough."

 

Wrestlemania 7 & Wrestlemania 1994: "While Desjardin doesn't expect buys to reach the 764,000 record mark reached by Wrestlemania VII, he said they could surpass the 416,000 buys generated by last year's version (Wrestlemania 1994)." - "Titan custom-'Tayloring' latest wrestlemania." Multichannel News March 6, 1995

 

In your House: 1: "Skip Desjardin, vice president of PPV for TitanSports, which owns the WWF franchise, said buy-rates for In Your House managed to reach the 1 percent mark, generating approximately 200,000 to 225,000 buys." - May 29, 1995 ( WWF's 'House' surprises,) $14.95 price point, Multichannel News

 

IYH events prior to May 1996: Beware of Dog: "In Your House events -- which Titan introduced last year -- have averaged between 180,000 and 200,000 buys since the beginning of the year." - June 3 1996 (Multichannel News) - article is about Titan having to offer a different replay to make up for the feed getting screwed up and many providers expecting to refund the $19.95 to complaining customers

 

Wrestlemania 1998: "The WWF's March 28 "Wrestlemania XV" drew a wrestling-best 875,000 buys at $34.95 each -- which means the company earned more than $30 million in revenue from two hours of television." - Variety, June 19 1999 (Wrestling with Success)

 

Survivor Series 1992: "TitanSports' Nov. 25 Survivor Series World Wrestling Federation pay-per-view event could not stem the tide of declining buy-rates, which have fallen 30 percent below last year's figures. The event generated close to a 2 percent buy-rate, pinning down approximately 365,000 buys, said Skip Desjardin, manager of PPV marketing for Titan. He added that the event's performance was close to that of Titan's August SummerSlam PPV event and generally matched the company's 30 percent slide in buy-rates for all of its 1992 events." - Multichannel News, 12/21/92

 

Royal Rumble 1992: "Rumble's price went up from $22.95 to $24.95. The WWF said, however, that preliminary results show the event actually outgrossed last year's, partly on the strength of a price hike. Skip Desjardin, manager of PPV marketing for the WWF, admitted that Rumble's buy-rate was down from last year, but said the event increased the number of buys over last year, although it was too early to give specific numbers." - Multichannel News, Feb 3 1992

 

This Tuesday in Texas 1992: "However, operators also reported that buy-rates for the WWF's Nov. 27 Survivor Series - the ending of which was the basis for the This Tuesday in Texas second event six days later - were down slightly from last year's event. Operators were not allowed to promote Texas until after the conclusion of Survivor, which saw champion Hulk Hogan lose his title to The Undertaker. The WWF provided a promotional spot for the special event - the main feature of which was a rematch of the Hogan-Undertaker bout in which Hogan regained his title - immediately after Survivor. But Desjardin said subscribers were satisfied that they got their money's worth out of the Survivor event. He added that the WWF has no intentions of attempting another surprise event in the near future. ... [one person added that viewers] might have resented paying about $40 for the two events in less than a week." - Multichannel News, Dec 9 1991 (events were

27.95 price for Survivor and $12.95 for the WWF special event)

 

No Holds Barred: The Match/The Movie: "Viewer's Choice serves some 5.5 million addressable homes, over one-third of the addressable universe. Most of that 5.5 million total comes from the MSO's who own the service. The second-largest PPV service, Request, does not carry WWF events. Traditionally, WWF events have been one of PPV's leading revenue sources, but the overall revenue for the January event could be curtailed if major blocks of the industry do not carry it. DeVito said 6.2 million homes are currently under contract for the Jan. 21 event, and WWF expects to have 8 million by then. That is short of the 12 million to which the Dec. 27 event was available. Gross buys for the four showings of the movie and the event, DeVito estimated, was 300,000." - Broadcasting Jan 1 1990

 

Wrestlemania 4: "The third in the World Wrestling Federation's series may have been the charm, because last March's Wrestlemania IV showed NYT Cable PPV director Steve Rockabrand that "the product has reached the end of its competitive life cycle." The Cherry Hill, NJ system, which does sales of $6.50 per month per sub on its 62,000 PPV universe, reports its buy rate for the latest event fell four percentage points short of the 10.9% scored by Wrestlemania III. By WWF Count, Wrestlemania IV was available to 11.1 million PPV homes, with the previous record going to the WWF Survivor Series of last November. The federation estimates the buy rate on more than 700 systems which carried the event at 9.8%. For NYT's part, Rockabrand feels that newer PPV systems whose subscribers may not have had the exposure to the previous series may have done better than NYT's 6.9% at $19.95 a transaction. The current holder of the PPV crown at NYT is not Randy Savage, winner of the Wrestlemania contest, but rather Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray of Dirty Dnacing with 27.3% buy-rate. As for those who he expects to depose the reigning champs, Rockabrand hopes it will be Tyson-Spinks, although his system has yet to sign the deal." - Television/Radio Age, April 18, 1988

 

"The WWF reports that its revenue from pay-per-view events has been flat over the past five years, averaging about $25 million a year. The WCW's pay-per-view numbers have doubled since Hulk Hogan walked through the door last summer, but it's not clear that this kind of growth can continue. The WCW generated about $13 million from pay-per-view last year." - Viva Hulk! By: Kimelman, John, FW, 00152064, 2/14/95, Vol. 164, Issue 4 (Article opens with a BURIAL of Kevin Nash)

 

Wrestlemania IX: "Cable operators were not too disappointed with the performance of TitanSports Inc.'s April 4 Wrestlemania IX pay-per-view event despite the decline in its buy-rates from last year. Although the company did not have specific buy-rates for the event, Skip Desjardin, manager of PPV marketing for TitanSports, said the event's results will most likely be better than those of last January's Royal Rumble, which performed better than last November's Survivor Series." - April 12 1993, Multichannel News

 

1990 PPV Business: "Karpas added that despite the popularity of boxing and wrestling events on PPV, the buy-rates average only around 7 percent." - Feb 4 1991, Multichannel News

 

"McMahon's WWF is still bigger, grossing an estimated $84 million. Turner's executive producer Eric Bischoff, says, "My goal is to break $50 million." - Fortune, 10/16/95 (about Time Warner buying Turner Broadcasting and focuses that WCW may be a key asset) "Clinching the Deal: Hulk to Time Warner!"

 

March 2000: "WCW PPV events this year have averaged a 0.28 buy-rate, down about 50 percent from an 0.55 buy-rate in 1999. The 1999 buy-rate also fell about 50 percent from the 1.03 WCW pulled in 1998, according to the company." March 27, 2000 Multichannel News (WCW OVERHAULS PPV UNIT MANAGEMENT)

 

October 2000: "The disparity is even greater on the PPV side. The WWF averages around a 1.35 buy-rate on monthly events, while the WCW's buy-rates have been as low as 0.2 percent." - 10/9/2000 Multichannel News (WCW May Work with Rival.)

 

ECW Events as of 1999: "ECW currently averages around 70,000 to 75,000 buys per event, which pales in comparison with average six-figure buy numbers for the monthly PPV events staged by WCW and the WWF." - Acclaim's ECW deal includes equity piece., Multichannel News; 11/29/99, Vol. 20 Issue 49, p34, 2/7p

 

Backlash 2000 - "Operators reported that the WWF generated between 625,000 and 725,000 buys and more than $19 million in revenue for Backlash, which featured the return of popular wrestler Austin." - WWF Knocks Out Fight on PPV., Multichannel News; 05/08/2000, Vol. 21 Issue 19, p5, 2p, 1 Color Photograph

 

ECW Barely Legal: "A pay-per-view event, "Barely Legal," garnered 45,000 buys, and Extreme Championship Wrestling muscled its way into the big time. More PPV shows and 150 annual live arena events generated buzz on the Internet among wrestling fans." - from a "The Marketing 100" in Advertising Age, 6/26/2000, Vol. 71 Issue 27, ps33, 1/5p

 

2001 PPV results: "Showtime recently released a survey called “The Pay-Per-View Industry Review & Digital Cable PPV Study 2001.” Key findings include: Fifty million, or nearly half of all U.S. TV homes, have access to PPV—two-thirds of those via satellite or digital cable.

WWF events on the Top 10 PPV events list

#1 Wrestlemania X-Seven April 1 $27,965,000

#4 No Way Out Feb. 25 $16,173,000,

#6 Royal Rumble, Jan. 21, $15,574,000

#7 Summerslam, Aug. 19, $14,226,250

#7 Unforgiven, Sept. 23, $14,226,250

#9 Survivor Series , Nov. 18 $13,178,000" - "Wrestling and boxing bring 'em to the mat. By: Phipps, Jennie L., Electronic Media, 07450311, 3/4/2002, Vol. 21, Issue 9"

 

Royal Rumble 1997 & 1998: "In its pay-per-view ventures, the WWF's "Royal Rumble" event in January scored 318,000 buy-ins, 114,000 more than last year, for a 56 percent increase."

IYH 1996/1997: "The "In Your House" PPV event in December scored 151,000 buy-ins, up 22 percent over the previous year, despite a price increase from $19.95 to $29.95 over that same period."

- WWF pins down larger audience. By: Spring, Greg, Electronic Media, 07450311, 02/09/98, Vol. 17, Issue 7

 

SummerSlam 1992/1991: "Although Titan did not have specific buy-rates for the event, Skip Desjardin, manager of PPV marketing for the WWF, said preliminary numbers show a decline in performance from last year's (1991) 3.1 percent buy-rate." - Wrestling taken to the mat again. (declining buy-rates for pay-per-view wrestling events), Multichannel News 14.n5 (Feb 1, 1993): pp15(1).

 

WWF: "WWF has lined up 11.5 million addressable homes for its upcoming Summer Slam '88" Sugar Ray's PPV pot of gold. (Sugar Ray Leonard)., Broadcasting 115.n7 (August 15, 1988): pp41(1).

 

Superbrawl 1994: "Meanwhile, the WCW averaged slightly less than a 1 percent buy-rate for its Feb. 20 SuperBrawl IV PPV event, operators said. Most operators said the event did about as well as, and in some cases better than, last year's event." - Turner Entertainment close to signing Hulk Hogan for WCW. (Turner Entertainment Co.; World Championship Wrestling). Multichannel News 15.n9 (Feb 28, 1994): pp14(1).

 

"able system addressability (the ability to deliver PPV programing) is expected to climb to 23 million homes by the end of 1995, a 3% boost over year-end 1994, according to Showtime Event Television; The wrestling category raked in an estimated $70 million in PPV revenue in 1994, and promoters are looking to push that number even higher this year." - PPV outlook: partly sunny. (pay-per-view television). Broadcasting & Cable 125.n14 (April 3, 1995): pp30(1). (Article also notes that Playboy TV gets 900k orders a month)

All I get when looking at these sources is a massive headache. 1990's Summerslam did around 550,000 buys. Even with the size of the PPV universe increasing into 1991, business was down from the previous year. I cannot conceive in any way that a tag team main event of a dead feud would have done more than 600,000 buys. That's just impossible.

 

One problem with these numbers is figuring exactly what came from WWF and what came from actual sources within the PPV industry. That one guy, Basil, from WWF used to grossly overexaggerate their buys, and it'd often be the case that the real number was 20% lower than what Basil claimed. So it becomes frustrating when considering what's true and what's not. Sources, even if wrong, is a good way to put some strong direction to these numbers. That's partly why you're so valuable to this project. It's just that I often don't know what to believe any more. Maybe Meltzer is wrong sometimes?

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The PPV universe numbers came from page 871 (Appendix C) in "Stay Tuned: A History of American Broadcasting" which cites a "TV Dimensions 2000" study from Media Dimensions which in turn was based on a Statistical Research, Inc. "SMART TV Ownership Survey, Spring 1999". (If you go to the amazon page, do a "search inside" and type in "Kagan" you should find the table as the second hit.). As I said before, I spent almost a whole day just searching for any kind of a definitive estimate on this from 1985-2000. I fear that it may be missing the influence that satellite started to play by the mid 90s as we saw how much the directtv battle at WWF cost them.

 

The buy rates came from Jason Campbell Pro Wrestling History spreadsheet. I asked him and he said most of the buyrate numbers came from Meltzer but occasionally he used other sources.

 

I will send you a copy of all the articles I found. In general, I found multichannel news to be closest to accurate while all others were either quoting some other source or not really concerned with giving a detailed buyrate.

 

Lastly, we know WWF buys from mid 1995 onwards since they published that in their early SEC prospectus. I am planning on doing a better accounting where I overlay that information to see if anything stands out.

 

Overall, the picture is starting to come together at least but yes e varying sources are headaches, but that's why this project has been broached many times and most people just get frustrated and walk away... Not us!

 

I'm on my ipad now so I will just copy an example of the WWE SEC total buys stuff from something I posted on F4W years ago...

 

TY 2006 (May 06 to Dec 06): 3,287,300 worldwide buys with 11 events = $53.4MM revenue - $19.3MM cost = $34.1MM; $15.46 revenue/buy; $34.95 for May 06 PPV and $39.95 price-tag for rest of the PPVs

(Domestic buys for this transitional period were 61%; avg domestic buys/PPV = 182,296)

 

FY 2006 (May 05 to April 06): 6,241,100 worldwide buys with 16 events = $94.8MM revenue - $42.2MM cost = $52.6MM; $14.96 revenue/buy; $34.95/$49.95 price-tag.

(WM had 925,000 buys; Domestic buys for this period were 63%; avg doemstic buys/PPV = 245,743)

 

FY 2005 (May 04 to April 05): 5,280,800 worldwide buys with 14 events = $85.5MM revenue - $36.3MM cost = $49.2MM; $15.94 revenue/buy; $34.95/$49.95 price-tag.

(WM had 983,000 buys; Domestic buys for this period were 70%; "The increase in pay-per-view cost of revenues is due, in part, to approximately $3.2 million of costs related to the production of the two additional events in fiscal 2005, as well as an investment in global marketing campaigns in support of our pay-per-view business and the WWE brand."; avg. domestic buys/PPV = 264,040)

 

FY 2004 (May 03 to April 04): 5,604,000 worldwide buys with 12 events = $95.3MM revenue - $36.0MM cost = $59.3MM; $34.95/$49.95 price-tag.

(WM had 885,000 buys; "In addition, the proportion of international buys, which carry a lower price, as compared to total buys continued to increase during the current year. ")

 

FY 2003 (May 02 to April 03): 5,378,100 worldwide buys with 12 events = $91.1MM revenue - $36.7MM cost = $54.4MM; $29.95/$44.95 price-tag.

(WM had 560,000 buys)

 

FY 2002 (May 01 to April 02): 7,135,464 worldwide buys with 12 events = $112.0MM revenue - $42.5MM cost = $69.5MM; $24.95/$39.95 price-tag.

 

FY 2001 (May 00 to April 01): 8,010,400 worldwide buys with 12 events = $128.2MM revenue - $41.6MM cost = $86.6MM; $24.95/$39.95

 

FY 2000 (May 99 to April 00): 6,884,600 worldwide buys with 12 events $24.95/$39.95

 

FY 1999 (May 98 to April 99): 5,365,100 worldwide buys with 12 events $24.95/$39.95

 

FY 1998 (May 97 to April 98): 2,936,100 buys

FY 1997 (May 96 to April 97): 2,252,200 buys

FY 1996 (May 95 to April 96): 2,831,700 buys

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/109...004115-0001.txt

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Guest Nell Santucci

The PPV universe numbers came from page 871 (Appendix C) in "Stay Tuned: A History of American Broadcasting" which cites a "TV Dimensions 2000" study from Media Dimensions which in turn was based on a Statistical Research, Inc. "SMART TV Ownership Survey, Spring 1999". (If you go to the amazon page, do a "search inside" and type in "Kagan" you should find the table as the second hit.). As I said before, I spent almost a whole day just searching for any kind of a definitive estimate on this from 1985-2000. I fear that it may be missing the influence that satellite started to play by the mid 90s as we saw how much the directtv battle at WWF cost them.

 

The buy rates came from Jason Campbell Pro Wrestling History spreadsheet. I asked him and he said most of the buyrate numbers came from Meltzer but occasionally he used other sources.

 

I will send you a copy of all the articles I found. In general, I found multichannel news to be closest to accurate while all others were either quoting some other source or not really concerned with giving a detailed buyrate.

 

Lastly, we know WWF buys from mid 1995 onwards since they published that in their early SEC prospectus. I am planning on doing a better accounting where I overlay that information to see if anything stands out.

 

Overall, the picture is starting to come together at least but yes e varying sources are headaches, but that's why this project has been broached many times and most people just get frustrated and walk away... Not us!

 

I'm on my ipad now so I will just copy an example of the WWE SEC total buys stuff from something I posted on F4W years ago...

 

TY 2006 (May 06 to Dec 06): 3,287,300 worldwide buys with 11 events = $53.4MM revenue - $19.3MM cost = $34.1MM; $15.46 revenue/buy; $34.95 for May 06 PPV and $39.95 price-tag for rest of the PPVs

(Domestic buys for this transitional period were 61%; avg domestic buys/PPV = 182,296)

 

FY 2006 (May 05 to April 06): 6,241,100 worldwide buys with 16 events = $94.8MM revenue - $42.2MM cost = $52.6MM; $14.96 revenue/buy; $34.95/$49.95 price-tag.

(WM had 925,000 buys; Domestic buys for this period were 63%; avg doemstic buys/PPV = 245,743)

 

FY 2005 (May 04 to April 05): 5,280,800 worldwide buys with 14 events = $85.5MM revenue - $36.3MM cost = $49.2MM; $15.94 revenue/buy; $34.95/$49.95 price-tag.

(WM had 983,000 buys; Domestic buys for this period were 70%; "The increase in pay-per-view cost of revenues is due, in part, to approximately $3.2 million of costs related to the production of the two additional events in fiscal 2005, as well as an investment in global marketing campaigns in support of our pay-per-view business and the WWE brand."; avg. domestic buys/PPV = 264,040)

 

FY 2004 (May 03 to April 04): 5,604,000 worldwide buys with 12 events = $95.3MM revenue - $36.0MM cost = $59.3MM; $34.95/$49.95 price-tag.

(WM had 885,000 buys; "In addition, the proportion of international buys, which carry a lower price, as compared to total buys continued to increase during the current year. ")

 

FY 2003 (May 02 to April 03): 5,378,100 worldwide buys with 12 events = $91.1MM revenue - $36.7MM cost = $54.4MM; $29.95/$44.95 price-tag.

(WM had 560,000 buys)

 

FY 2002 (May 01 to April 02): 7,135,464 worldwide buys with 12 events = $112.0MM revenue - $42.5MM cost = $69.5MM; $24.95/$39.95 price-tag.

 

FY 2001 (May 00 to April 01): 8,010,400 worldwide buys with 12 events = $128.2MM revenue - $41.6MM cost = $86.6MM; $24.95/$39.95

 

FY 2000 (May 99 to April 00): 6,884,600 worldwide buys with 12 events $24.95/$39.95

 

FY 1999 (May 98 to April 99): 5,365,100 worldwide buys with 12 events $24.95/$39.95

 

FY 1998 (May 97 to April 98): 2,936,100 buys

FY 1997 (May 96 to April 97): 2,252,200 buys

FY 1996 (May 95 to April 96): 2,831,700 buys

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/109...004115-0001.txt

How reliable do you think the SEC is? This is getting to be a serious headache.

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How reliable do you think the SEC is? This is getting to be a serious headache.

Personally? I consider them the most credible source. Dave's #s are almost always based off a combination of the monthly KPIs and the 8-k filings where they list specific PPV buys. For other groups, he'll use feedback or cable industry people as a source, but for WWE it's the financial filings that drive most of the discussion. He reaches out to WWE when a number doesn't jive or when they give a vague response (for instance, when December 2 Dismember came out, we were shocked at how low it was and asked WWE if that was the worldwide or domestic number and they wrote back to confirm that it was in fact a worldwide number meaning domestic was even lower than that).

 

Yes, it's a headache but that's why everyone wants to do this and then gives up. I've been following this for years and I've probably read every single SEC filing WWE has ever done. You find different nuggets in different places, especially pre-2005 when they were pretty cagey about admitting numbers (they'd post things like "PPV revenue was up $3M versus last year except for the 2 events that were held in the early quarter"). However, if you trace it all back (which I've done), you can get to some pretty good estimates. It just takes a lot of patience and a lot of very articulate spreadsheets.

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Making false filings with the SEC is a federal offense, so I'm pretty sure they're reliable.

Exactly.. Like, I believe WWE fudges the announced attendance numbers for Wrestlemania. But when it comes to PPV revenue and PPV buys, they do their darndest to be accurate because that's a hard & fast metric which is being tracked.

Now, on the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), that's not filed with the SEC. That isn't to say I think they lie on there. It's just that I've found mistakes on there before. (I've actually one tiny mistake on the SEC filings before like messing up their historical PPV prices but it was a really minor thing.) When they started renaming PPVs month to month and year over year, sometimes I'd see a KPI where they had the wrong title or it looked like they swapped two datapoints.

However, for the most part it's remarkably consistent.

 

The only parts which are not crystal clear are:

 

#1) Domestic/Int'l Split (there are numbers they'll drop occasionally in their Annual Report or 8-K filings, but it's not consistent. However, they've started being very transparent in the Key Performance Indicators regarding this, so that's something. There is quarterly data from 2008 onwards from KPIs that I have on this. They have annual data for 2005-2007 they quoted in the annual report.

 

#2) Prior Period Purchases. Again, the KPI has a line graph, where it seems like they "bump" up the PPVs to attribute those prior period buys. However, now they _usually_ keep the same number they initially reported in the prior 8-K year-over-year. Yet, in the past, there are cases where they USED to bump PPV quotes up and down. To be honest, I haven't found it to be completely consistent except to say that there just isn't nearly the amount of prior period buys each year as there once was. (2006: 459k buys, 2007: 217 buys, 2008: 385k buys, 2009: 275k buys, 2010: 23k buys, 2011: 204k buys, 2012: 244k buys). A quarter million prior period buys would only move any one PPV event up about 20,000 buys and in reality, a disproportionate amount prior period buys usually goes to either Rumble, Summerslam or (especially) Wrestlemania.

 

What does this mean? This is one of the reasons you'll see the difference between Dave's estimate and WWE's SEC filings and the WWE KPI.

Dave tries to quote the # of buys for an event including an estimate for domestic/int'l split along with applying prior period buys. If you just look up the PPV # on the quarterly 8-K filing, it's going to be an initial worldwide number - no prior period buys added in (usually). If you look at the monthly KPI chart, you'll see the worldwide number most likely with prior event buys added in. So, it's three different numbers which aren't really "wrong" from each other, but certainly often don't match.

 

(And lastly, WWE has a little blurb in their annual report which always gives me that little bit of uneasiness whenever I pretend I know what the hell this or that really did: Revenues from our pay-per-view programming are recorded when the event is aired and are based upon our initial estimate of the number of buys achieved. This initial estimate is based on preliminary buy information received from our pay-per-view distributors. Final reconciliation of the pay-per-view buys occurs within one year and subsequent adjustments to the buys are recognized in the period new information is received. Historically, adjustments made to our initial estimates have not had a significant impact on our revenues, although this may not be the case in the future. Our pay-per-view accounts receivable balance was $10.9 million and $11.7 million at December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively.)

 

Over the past 8 years, I'd wager I've read every single SEC filing that WWE has made since the started publishing in 1999. That's not to say that I understood it all, though.

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Guest Nell Santucci

I've been working my way through the thread and cross-referencing all of the information. First of all, great job by everyone. As I said before, I've long been working on looking at these things. From 2000-onwards, there is a wealth of SEC materials (especially the periodic financial 10-Q) filings which have a lot of juicy nuggets about PPV buys. The hard part was always 1985-1999, which is being filled in quite nicely here.

 

There's a really nice spreadsheet at http://prowrestlinghistory.com/supercards/eventinfo.xls that lists all of the PPVs and has a "PPV buyrate" next to many of the events. It's certainly as fallible as every single other list out there. However, since it fills in a lot of gaps, I thought I would try an experiment where I would take the buyrates from the spreadsheet and push them up against the "# of PPV capable homes" from the Broadcasting Appendix table that I found. (I did use an even slope for every year so the universe "expands" as the year goes by. In reality, I'm sure these expansions were hardly linear, but since the overall universe expansion was roughly linear, I decided to just go with it.)

 

WWF (comparisons to other numbers already listed in this thread)

 

WWF WrestleMania I (3/31/1985): 1.1 buyrate x 2119195 homes = 23,311 buys. (JNLister: 398,000 (CCT) and a negligibly small number of PPV buys)

WWF Wrestling Classic (11/7/1985): 2.5 buyrate x 4710599 homes = 117,764 buys. (this seems high - estimates previously were 43k to 60k buys)

 

WWF WrestleMania II (4/7/1986): 7 buyrate x 5654650 homes = 395,825 buys. (250,000 in NS list, JNLister: 319,000 (Closed Circuit Television) and Andre the Giant's handful on PPV.)

 

WWF WrestleMania III (3/29/1987): 8 buyrate x 6472033 homes = 517,762 buys. ( 400,000 (PPV); 450,000 (CCT); 450,000 (Closed Circuit Television) and another 400,000 on PPV)

WWF Survivor Series 1987 (11/26/1987): 7 buyrate x 7297766 homes = 510,843 buys. (this seems high: 325,000 in NS list)

 

WWF WrestleMania IV (3/27/1988): 6.5 buyrate x 7786150 homes = 506,099 buys. ( 485,000; JNLister: 175,000 (Closed Circuit Television), Approx 650,000 on PPV)

WWF SummerSlam 1988 (8/29/1988): 4.5 buyrate x 8491025 homes = 382,096 buys. (this seems low; estimate was 500,000 in NS list and 400,000 in Observer notes)

WWF Survivor Series 1988 (11/24/1988): 2.8 buyrate x 8913950 homes = 249,590 buys. (this is close - 310,000 buys)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1989 (1/15/1989): 1.5 buyrate x 9195900 homes = 137,938 buys. (this is close = 165,000 buys)

WWF WrestleMania V (4/2/1989): 5.9 buyrate x 10313650 homes = 608,505 buys. (this is low,767,000 buys is the common number)

WWF SummerSlam 1989 (8/28/1989): 4.8 buyrate x 11803983 homes = 566,591 buys. (numbers between 575,000 and 625,000 have been published)

WWF Survivor Series 1989 (11/23/1989): 3.3 buyrate x 12921733 homes = 426,417 buys. (this is a little higher than the 385,000 number)

WWF No Holds Barred (12/27/1989): 1.6 buyrate x 13294316 homes = 212,709 buys. ("Gross buys for the four showings of the movie and the event, DeVito estimated, was 300,000." - Broadcasting Jan 1 1990)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1990 (1/21/1990): 2 buyrate x 13666900 homes = 273,338 buys. (this is close to 260,000)

WWF WrestleMania VI (4/1/1990): 4.5 buyrate x 14365500 homes = 646,447 buys. (this is higher than then 550,000 to 560,000 number)

WWF SummerSlam 1990 (8/27/1990): 3.8 buyrate x 15296966 homes = 581,284 buys. (this is close to the 550,000 number though the article from 7/8/91 had the buyrate higher up at 4.3)

WWF Survivor Series 1990 (11/22/1990): 3 buyrate x 15995566 homes = 479,866 buys. (this is above the 400,000 number)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1991 (1/19/1991): 2.4 buyrate x 16461300 homes = 395,071 buys. (this is below the 440,000 number)

WWF WrestleMania VII (3/24/1991): 2.8 buyrate x 17064910 homes = 477,817 buys. (this is higher than the 400,000 number)

WWF SummerSlam 1991 (8/26/1991): 2.7 buyrate x 18573935 homes = 501,496 buys. (this is VASTLY above the 375,000 to 405,000 numbers) - however the 9/2/91 article calls it "608,000 buys"

WWF Survivor Series 1991 (11/27/1991): 2.2 buyrate x 19479350 homes = 428,545 buys. (this is much higher than the 300,000 number)

WWF Tuesday in Texas (12/3/1991): 1 buyrate x 19781155 homes = 197,811 buys. (this is slightly above the 140,000 number)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1992 (1/19/1992): 1.8 buyrate x 20082960 homes = 361,493 buys. (this is above the 260,000 number)

WWF WrestleMania VIII (4/5/1992): 2.3 buyrate x 21069480 homes = 484,598 buys. (this is above the 360,000 to 390,000 numbers)

WWF SummerSlam 1992 (8/29/1992): 1.5 buyrate x 22384840 homes = 335,772 buys. (this is above the 285,000 number)

WWF Survivor Series 1992 (11/25/1992): 1.4 buyrate x 23371360 homes = 327,199 buys. (this is above the 250,000 number)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1993 (1/24/1993): 1.25 buyrate x 24029040 homes = 300,363 buys. (this is below the 430,000 number or was that for WM?)

WWF WrestleMania IX (4/4/1993): 2 buyrate x 25081860 homes = 501,637 buys. (this is above the 430,000 number)

WWF King of the Ring 1993 (6/13/1993): 1.1 buyrate x 25783740 homes = 283,621 buys. (this is close to the 245,000 number)

WWF SummerSlam 1993 (8/30/1993): 1.3 buyrate x 26485620 homes = 344,313 buys. (this is above the 250,000 number)

WWF Survivor Series 1993 (11/24/1993): 0.82 buyrate x 27538440 homes = 225,815 buys. (this is near the 180,000 number)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1994 (1/22/1994): 0.9 buyrate x 28240320 homes = 254,162 buys. (this is above the 200,000 number)

WWF WrestleMania X (3/20/1994): 1.68 buyrate x 28776500 homes = 483,445 buys. (this is near the 420,000 number)

WWF King of the Ring 1994 (6/19/1994): 0.85 buyrate x 29580770 homes = 251,436 buys. (this is above the 185,000 number)

WWF SummerSlam 1994 (8/29/1994): 1.3 buyrate x 30116950 homes = 391,520 buys. (this is much higher than the 300,000 number)

WWF Survivor Series 1994 (11/23/1994): 0.9 buyrate x 30921220 homes = 278,290 buys. (no estimate in NS list)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1995 (1/22/1995): 1 buyrate x 31457400 homes = 314,574 buys. (this is above the 225,000 number)

WWF WrestleMania XI (4/2/1995): 1.3 buyrate x 31462550 homes = 409,013 buys. (this is above the 340,000 number)

WWF In Your House #1 (5/14/1995): 0.83 buyrate x 31464266 homes = 261,153 buys. (this is above the 180,000 number)

WWF King of the Ring 1995 (6/25/1995): 0.65 buyrate x 31465983 homes = 204,528 buys. (this is above the 150,000 number)

WWF In Your House #2 (7/23/1995): 0.7 buyrate x 31467700 homes = 220,273 buys. (this is above the 155,000 number)

WWF SummerSlam 1995 (8/27/1995): 0.9 buyrate x 31469416 homes = 283,224 buys. (this is above the 205,000 number)

WWF In Your House #3 (9/24/1995): 0.7 buyrate x 31471133 homes = 220,297 buys. (this is above the 160,000 number)

WWF In Your House #4 (10/22/1995): 0.4 buyrate x 31472850 homes = 125,891 buys. (this is above the 90,000 number)

WWF Survivor Series 1995 (11/19/1995): 0.57 buyrate x 31474566 homes = 179,405 buys. (no estimate)

WWF In Your House #5 (12/17/1995): 0.35 buyrate x 31476283 homes = 110,166 buys. (no estimate)

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1996 (1/21/1996): 1.1 buyrate x 31478000 homes = 346,258 buys. (this is above the 290,000 number or was this for WM?)

WWF In Your House #6 (2/18/1996): 0.75 buyrate x 31764263 homes = 238,231 buys.

WWF WrestleMania XII (3/31/1996): 1.2 buyrate x 32336790 homes = 388,041 buys. (this is above the 290,000 number)

WWF Good Friends, Better Enemies (4/28/1996): 0.65 buyrate x 32336790 homes = 210,189 buys.

WWF Beware of Dog #1 (5/26/1996): 0.45 buyrate x 32623053 homes = 146,803 buys.

WWF Beware of Dog #2 (5/28/1996): 0.45 buyrate x 32623053 homes = 146,803 buys. (this was the make-up airing)

WWF King of the Ring 1996 (6/23/1996): 0.6 buyrate x 32909316 homes = 197,455 buys.

WWF International Incident (7/21/1996): 0.37 buyrate x 33195580 homes = 122,823 buys.

WWF SummerSlam 1996 (8/18/1996): 0.58 buyrate x 33481843 homes = 194,194 buys.

WWF Mind Games (9/22/1996): 0.48 buyrate x 33768106 homes = 162,086 buys.

WWF Buried Alive (10/20/1996): 0.4 buyrate x 34054370 homes = 136,217 buys.

WWF Survivor Series 1996 (11/17/1996): 0.58 buyrate x 34340633 homes = 199,175 buys.

WWF It's Time (12/15/1996): 0.35 buyrate x 34626896 homes = 121,194 buys.

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1997 (1/19/1997): 0.7 buyrate x 34913160 homes = 244,392 buys.

WWF The Final Four (2/16/1997): 0.5 buyrate x 35025475 homes = 175,127 buys.

WWF WrestleMania XIII (3/23/1997): 0.77 buyrate x 35137791 homes = 270,560 buys. (this is above the 237,000 number)

WWF Taker's Revenge (4/20/1997): 0.5 buyrate x 35250107 homes = 176,250 buys.

WWF A Cold Day in Hell (5/11/1997): 0.57 buyrate x 35362423 homes = 201,565 buys.

WWF King of the Ring 1997 (6/8/1997): 0.5 buyrate x 35474739 homes = 177,373 buys.

WWF Canadian Stampede (7/6/1997): 0.59 buyrate x 35587055 homes = 209,963 buys.

WWF SummerSlam 1997 (8/3/1997): 0.8 buyrate x 35699370 homes = 285,594 buys. (this was above the 250,000 number)

WWF Ground Zero (9/7/1997): 0.45 buyrate x 35811686 homes = 161,152 buys.

WWF Badd Blood 1997 (10/5/1997): 0.6 buyrate x 35924002 homes = 215,544 buys.

WWF Survivor Series 1997 (11/9/1997): 0.89 buyrate x 36036318 homes = 320,723 buys.

WWF D-Generation X (12/7/1997): 0.44 buyrate x 36148634 homes = 159,053 buys.

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1998 (1/18/1998): 0.97 buyrate x 36260950 homes = 351,731 buys.

WWF No Way Out 1998 (2/15/1998): 0.52 buyrate x 36310541 homes = 188,814 buys.

WWF WrestleMania XIV (3/29/1998): 2.3 buyrate x 36360133 homes = 836,283 buys. (this was above the 730,000 number)

WWF Unforgiven 1998 (4/26/1998): 0.85 buyrate x 36409725 homes = 309,482 buys.

WWF Over the Edge 1998 (5/31/1998): 0.58 buyrate x 36508908 homes = 211,751 buys.

WWF King of the Ring 1998 (6/28/1998): 0.85 buyrate x 36508908 homes = 310,325 buys.

WWF Fully Loaded 1998 (7/26/1998): 0.9 buyrate x 36558500 homes = 329,026 buys.

WWF SummerSlam 1998 (8/30/1998): 1.63 buyrate x 36608091 homes = 596,711 buys. (this was below that debated 700,000 number)

WWF Breakdown (9/27/1998): 0.86 buyrate x 36657683 homes = 315,256 buys.

WWF Judgment Day 1998 (10/18/1998): 0.89 buyrate x 36707275 homes = 326,694 buys.

WWF Survivor Series 1998 (11/15/1998): 1.3 buyrate x 36756866 homes = 477,839 buys.

WWF Rock Bottom (12/13/1998): 0.78 buyrate x 36806458 homes = 287,090 buys.

 

WWF Royal Rumble 1999 (1/24/1999): 1.88 buyrate x 36856050 homes = 692,893 buys. (this was above the 650,000 buys)

WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre (2/14/1999): 1.21 buyrate x 37097382 homes = 448,878 buys.

WWF WrestleMania XV (3/28/1999): 2.32 buyrate x 37338715 homes = 866,258 buys. (this was above the 800,000 number)

WWF Backlash 1999 (4/25/1999): 1.06 buyrate x 37580047 homes = 398,348 buys.

WWF Over the Edge 1999 (5/23/1999): 1.1 buyrate x 37821380 homes = 416,035 buys.

WWF King of the Ring 1999 (6/27/1999): 1.13 buyrate x 38062712 homes = 430,108 buys.

WWF Fully Loaded 1999 (7/25/1999): 0.94 buyrate x 38304045 homes = 360,058 buys.

WWF SummerSlam 1999 (8/22/1999): 1.61 buyrate x 38545377 homes = 620,580 buys. (this was slightly below the 650,000 number)

WWF Unforgiven 1999 (9/26/1999): 0.85 buyrate x 38786710 homes = 329,687 buys.

WWF No Mercy 1999 (10/17/1999): 0.84 buyrate x 39028042 homes = 327,835 buys.

WWF Survivor Series 1999 (11/14/1999): 1.14 buyrate x 39269375 homes = 447,670 buys.

WWF Armageddon 1999 (12/12/1999): 0.94 buyrate x 39510707 homes = 371,400 buys.

 

On average, I'm low for 1988/1989, about 20% high for 1990-1992, okay for 1993, about 25% high for 1994-1997 and near for 1998-1999. I didn't correlate all of my article blurbs with this list yet - I used the buyrate estimates that came from the ProWrestlingHistory spreadsheet.

Okay, so I got the exact numbers from the SEC website. So I'm reorganizing the PPV sheets in terms of fiscal year. WWE's 1995 fiscal year is from April 30, 1995 to April 30, 1996 (08-03-1999). The exact number of buys for that fiscal year is 1,868,900.

 

Using my formula, one gets

 

In Your House (May 1995) - 183,219

KOTR 95 - 146,380

IYH II - 157,045

SummerSlam 95 -206,500

IYH III - 159,953

IYH IV - 90,010

Survivor Series 95 - 128,082

IYH V - 74,098

Royal Rumble 96 - 258,402

IYH VI - 126,403

 

That leaves Wrestlemania XII and Good Friends, Better Enemies for April 1996's In Your House. We know that Wrestlemania XII did roughly 290,000 buys. I'll have to wait until this week or next week to get Meltzer's PPV revenue number, which should be close. So we'll leave the Good Friends, Better Enemies to the imagination for now and use the 290,000 buys figure for Wrestlemania XII until we can get a better number.

 

That adds up to 1,820,093, which is roughly 50,000 buys off from the theoretic values. Good Friends, Better Enemies probably did around 100,000 buys, meaning I'd be off anywhere between 50,000 to 100,000 buys from the theoretic value (meaning Michaels/Diesel drew well in April 1996, though I doubt that was the case for a fairly unpopular champion, without Bret Hart's following, even if he went against a reasonably competent opponent, which is more than I can say about the British Bulldog who had no business headlining PPVs if those numbers mean anything).

 

Using your formula for that fiscal year, we have 2,787,656, which is approximately 920,000 over theoretic buyrate and anywhere between 10 to 20 times over my formula. I tried to correct these results by using the .46 fudge factor, which comes out to 1,282,321 - or nearly 600,000 buys off the theoretic value. That tells me those calculations were essentially meaningless and that the variables of price of PPV and the revenue generated provide significantly more meaningful results.

 

Since that has been established - though we can use other results and still continue the research by whatever means necessary to get a clearer picture - the quickest manner in which we can continue to progress without getting bogged down in unnecessary complications is finding those PPV prices. That's what's missing most of all, and WCW often didn't even state the PPV price. So that will further complicate calculations.

 

I hope that helps. Most of all, the formula seems to suggest that we're on the right track.

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Annual WWE PPV Revenue (does not include live gate or venue merchandise) - I have it by quarter as well if needed.

 

5/1/1994 to 4/30/1995: 1,868,900 buys

5/1/1995 to 4/30/1996: 2,831,700 buys

5/1/1996 to 4/30/1997: $26.6M ( 2,252,200 buys)

5/1/1997 to 4/30/1998: $43.7M ( 2,936,100 buys)

5/1/1998 to 4/30/1999: $80.8M ( 5,365,100 buys)

5/1/1999 to 4/30/2000: $106.4M ( 6,884,600 buys)

5/1/2000 to 4/30/2001: $128.2M ( 8,010,400 buys)

5/1/2001 to 4/30/2002: $112.0M ( 7,135,464 buys)

5/1/2002 to 4/30/2003: $91.1M ( 5,378,100 buys)

5/1/2003 to 4/30/2004: $95.3M ( 5,604,000 buys)

5/1/2004 to 4/30/2005: $85.5M ( 5,280,800 buys)

5/1/2005 to 4/30/2006: $94.8M ( 6,241,100 buys)

 

Also, I found an interesting tidbit in one of the investor presentations about the split for int'l/domestic PPV revenue...

2006: $74.1 (domestic) + $19.5M (int'l)

2007: $76.6 (domestic) + $17.7M (int'l)

2008: $73.6 (domestic) + $17.8M (int'l)

2009: $65.0 (domestic) + $15.0M (int'l)

2010: $58.5 (domestic) + $11.7M (int'l)

2011: $65.8 (domestic) + $12.5M (int'l)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm back in the old article hunt.

 

I found an NY Times article from November 1989 titled (what brilliance!) "THIS IS NOT REAL"

Kleinfield, N R. New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast) [New York, N.Y] 26 Nov 1989: A.1.

 

Two highlights:

 

The N.W.A. expects revenues next year to reach $50 million, up from about $33 million this year (the World Wrestling Federation is expected to gross more than $150 million this year). On television, a big part of its audience is 12- to 17-year-olds, which is why advertisers like Kenner Toys, Tonka, M & M Mars, the National Dairy Board and Parker Brothers fork over about $25,000 for 30-second spots.

The group is working on electronic contraptions to heighten interest among children. When completed, the gadgets will be shown to focus groups of young fans to get a reading on them.

 

In development, for instance, is a ''rage-meter'' that will somehow measure the amount of rage a wrestler is feeling at any given time. Fans will be able to learn, say, whether a wrestler who has just had his teeth kicked out feels blood-curdling rage or perhaps just mild displeasure. Another device being studied is a ''slam-meter.'' It will reveal the force of a slam to the mat. Was it a back-breaker of a slam? Was it a career-ender?

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  • 6 months later...

I'm back in the old article hunt.

 

I found an NY Times article from November 1989 titled (what brilliance!) "THIS IS NOT REAL"

Kleinfield, N R. New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast) [New York, N.Y] 26 Nov 1989: A.1.

 

Two highlights:

 

 

The N.W.A. expects revenues next year to reach $50 million, up from about $33 million this year (the World Wrestling Federation is expected to gross more than $150 million this year). On television, a big part of its audience is 12- to 17-year-olds, which is why advertisers like Kenner Toys, Tonka, M & M Mars, the National Dairy Board and Parker Brothers fork over about $25,000 for 30-second spots.

The group is working on electronic contraptions to heighten interest among children. When completed, the gadgets will be shown to focus groups of young fans to get a reading on them.

 

In development, for instance, is a ''rage-meter'' that will somehow measure the amount of rage a wrestler is feeling at any given time. Fans will be able to learn, say, whether a wrestler who has just had his teeth kicked out feels blood-curdling rage or perhaps just mild displeasure. Another device being studied is a ''slam-meter.'' It will reveal the force of a slam to the mat. Was it a back-breaker of a slam? Was it a career-ender?

I'm starting to understand how working with Jim Herd scarred Cornette so badly.
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