Former WWE, WCW and TNA director Eric Bischoff was recently interviewed on the WINCLY podcast of WrestlingInc. Among other things, Bischoff talked about the importance of ratings on American television and about the fall of Friday Night SmackDown’s audience in recent years. Then the most prominent statements.
It was thought that moving SmackDown to FOX would revitalize the business
“If they’re not watching it on television, they’re not going to arenas. If they’re not watching it on television, and they’re not going to arenas, they’re not buying merchandise. If they’re not watching it on television, they’re not going to arenas and they’re not buying merchandise, more than likely they’re not buying any pay per view. So for anyone to suggest that television ratings aren’t important anymore, I think that’s a pretty broad statement,” Bischoff said. “I think its quite arguable that ratings aren’t important today as they ere five or 10 years ago because of streaming.
“It still comes down to if there’s nobody watching your show, there’s nobody going to your events and that’s the lifeblood of professional wrestling.”
SmackDown has a lot of competition on Friday nights
“Friday nights, that’s a bad time of the week for TV, for wrestling fans.
“My first red flag was, ‘wow they picked a hell of a night’ especially if your core audience is 18-49,” Bischoff said. “I think by spring and summer, Smackdown is gonna have a real challenge that’s gonna make Friday nights tougher than they are right now.”
However, I don’t see FOX releasing a gap in its prime time between Monday and Thursday to put wrestling. I think they chose Friday precisely because it is a lazy night due to the huge competition. I am sure that FOX executives relied on the loyalty of wrestling fans. “