WWE is fond of frequently spouting the company line that the ratings for its annual taped Tribute to the Troops special on NBC are irrelevant. That's partially because of the very nature of the show itself and thet fact that broadcast deals are in place to accommodate that.
But let's be real: ratings matter, and pretending they don't is disingenuous at best.
That's why the latest numbers for the NBC airing of this year's Tribute to the Troops special could very well be sounding the death knell for WWE airing on the network. This past Saturday night's show did a paltry 1.3 million viewers, down from 2.1 million last year and 2.3 million the year before that.
The coveted male demographic rating was also down big and, to put these numbers in perspective, Tribute to the Troops was the least watched show in prime time on network television on Saturday night.
You could blame the time of the year -- the holidays and all that -- or you could blame the first run airing of the show on USA, which did 2.3 million viewers, but WWE on NBC appears to no longer be a viable relationship.
And that's fine. Nothing lasts forever, especially when the agreement is only for specialized shows that viewers are trained to believe mean nothing.
Eventually, they do.