FanPost

WWE needs to improve its creative to entice subscribers to the Network

When WWE inaugurated the network, it was one of the most intoxicating days in wrestling history. Before, customers had to dish out a fortune just to behold a year of WWE pay-per-view (PPV). By dint of the Network, though, it would now cost them approximately 120 dollars to do so. On top of that, the WWE network comes with never-seen-before content, every single WWE, WCW and ECW PPV, and a lot more. It is irrefutably a sensational deal, and one that every wrestling fan should invest into.

However, WWE reported that 1.3 million people signed up to the Network for WrestleMania, which is a substantially lower number than estimated. Frankly, its numbers have been lower than expected since its inception. The less-than-stellar numbers have enkindled WWE to become desperate, as they disbanded the 6-month commitment, and this month will be the third time they give away a month free to new subscribers.

WWE believed that a good portion of their fan base were not purchasing its PPVs due to the prohibitive asking price, but the Network's numbers indicate that they might be erroneous about that. It appears that a substantial amount of their fans are not purchasing the network simply due to a lack of interest. The numbers furthermore indicate that many of their PPV buyers were prior regular customers, and also a chunk of their audience watches the weekly television shows without any absorption to dish out money for the "special events".

It would be toilsome to discover how many fans WWE truly has, although it is surely safe to insist less than 30 percent of them are subscribed to the WWE network. And, whether the company wants to admit it or not, it is a substantial concern.

WWE can do these rudimentary promotional tactics until the cows come home, but they are going to be more detrimental than helpful in the end. It is imperative that they develop better strategies to persuade more people to subscribe; otherwise, they might have to write-off the Network as a failure and maybe consider going back to their old formula (although it would be extremely difficult to put toothpaste back into the bottle).

The focal point should be on the monthly PPVs. They are the selling point and reason people will sign up. Aside from the great price, though, WWE lacks to provide valid reasons why people should buy these shows. Most of them feel as if they are uneventful and uninspiring shows. Thus, the money is not the issue – people’s time is the issue.

With the amount of superb content on TV, some folks rather watch their favorite TV shows live over a seemingly underemphasized PPV. In all likelihood, they are going to watch something that feels more important and save money doing some, which means they are, in essence, killing two birds with one stone.

With 5 hours of weekly content, WWE should be building up their PPVs better and creating angles, segments and anything else to make people want to watch these shows. Basically, every upcoming WWE PPV bears resembles of just another show.

Even WrestleMania 31’s build this year was lackluster. Candidly, the only truly intriguing stories that developed amid the journey to WrestleMania was Brock Lesnar’s decision to resign with the company and dirt sheets signifying that Roman Reigns winning was not, unlike before, a foregone conclusion.

As mentioned previously, with 5 hours of weekly content, WWE has no excuse for their PPVs feeling so lackluster. They need to discover ways to publicize these shows up more. Otherwise, people are not going to sweat out missing these shows and, therefore, are not going to watch them.

It is that simple: the more important and intriguing the shows are the more people will subscribe to the WWE network to watch them.

WrestleMania 31's build evinced another problem within WWE: they are not hearkening to their fans. The basic fundamentals of business 101 elucidates that listening to your fans is one of the most important aspects of running a company, yet WWE wants to dictate their fans sentiments. Back in the day, WWE could get away with these tactics. These days, though, its audience is smarter, more rebellious and will not stand for it.

That does not indicate that the company should provide their fans what they want when they want all the time. Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing; so instead, they should discover a satisfactory compromise. They should give the fans, ultimately, what they want but make them earn it. Besides, fans know what they want – but they do not know all the time when they want it the most.

Since WWE does not provide their wrestlers a vacation, their creative staff should not take one either. There should be no such thing as downtime in WWE. By virtue of indolence, the company has indoctrinated its audience to only believe the Road to WrestleMania and SummerSlam matter, as everything else is significantly less exciting and less important.

Assuredly, WWE wants to make the Road to WrestleMania and SummerSlam feel as if it is more significant than the other times of the year, but they should not do it by making the other parts of the year essentially futile. They should be giving their full effort trying to develop and create interesting stories throughout the year; and when WrestleMania and SummerSlam come around, attempt to raise the bar even higher.

Simply put, if WWE wants to ameliorate their network subscription numbers, they ought to become more attentive on building up their PPVs and concentrating on their fans' needs. It might not turn their numbers from lamentable to sensational overnight, but it will certainly slowly albeit surely augment its numbers. And, the company being self-indulgent, stubborn and lackadaisical will not help anyone.

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.