Bischoff comments on potential problem for AEW
Submitted by Aaron Rift on 06/08/2019 at 07:55 AM

During his recent podcast, Eric Bischoff discussed the launch of AEW and here are the highlights courtesy of

Advice for AEW:

"In a macro kind of way, [my advice would be] be as different as you could possibly be from the competition. It worked for me, that was my self-mandate when I launched Nitro, is ĎDonít try to be better than the competition; try to be different from the competition.í And hopefully being different is enough to make people want to check you out. And I would stick with that. Now different in which way, that requires a lot more thought and kind of a granular approach. And you need to know what your strategy [is]."

AEW's deal with TNT:

"I only know what I read, and I donít know if what I read is even true or accurate. But for example, if what I read is true, and the AEW/TNT deal is, TNT is gonna cover costs of production. Which to me says that TNTís gonna actually produce it with their equipment, their crews, their people because that would make sense, and it would also minimize the expense compared to a third-party production company. So Iím assuming TNT is going to actually provide the physical production of the show, and theyíre going to split on some basis, some percentage basis. Letís just say itís 50/50, theyíre gonna split the advertising revenue."

Wrestling companies struggling to sell ad space:

"Hereís what I do know. This is not something I feel slightly intimidated about saying. Selling advertising in wrestling is extraordinarily difficult. Because wrestling is not a drama, but it is. Itís not a sitcom, but it is. Itís not a sport, but it is. Itís its own weird, kind of f**king duck, right? And itís really hard to get big advertisers, mainstream advertisers, the one that spend 80% of the revenue in the ad market. Itís really hard to get them comfortable with professional wrestling, simply because they canít define it. And it makes it hard."

How ad sales actually work:

"This is the process, okay. Get out your weed-eaters, because weíre gonna get into the f**king weeds. The way advertising is sold, is you have your clients. Your Mars, your General Mills, your Coorís Beer, your General Motors. Whatever it is, your big advertisers. They hire agencies, and they depend on those agencies to spend the clientís money in the most efficient, effective manner possible to get the biggest ROI [return on investment] that they can on those advertising dollars. And the advertising agency takes a percentage of those dollars that are spent; thatís how they make their money. So if an advertising agency says, ĎHey, General Motors! Weíre gonna spend $4 million over here in this new thing called AEW Wrestling on TNT. Theyíve never had wrestling before, not in 25 years, but this new companyís come a long. They havenít really done television before, but theyíve had some really good PPVs, they have a big buzz, blah blah blah.í Thatís a hard sell. Thereís not many advertising agents or executives that want to go to the client and justify that decision. Because they have to, they donít just get a bucket of money and the client says, ĎGo spend it however you think is best. They have to justify those expenditures. And in many cases, they have to approve them with the client. And because of the fact that wrestling is so unique, itís a very difficult sell. So hereís what happens Ö what do salesman normally reach under their bucket of tricks to sell? The hardest thing there is to sell, or the easiest thing there is to sell? The hardest thing to sell is professional wrestling."

"Now if a client is inclined to spend their money in advertising in wrestling, where do you think theyíre gonna be prone to spend it? In a startup on TNT? Or over here in WWE, where theyíve already got a lot of major clients? Somebody else has already crossed that bridge. Somebody else has already proven that it works. Now if youíre a salesman or an advertising executive, who are you gonna try to sell? And thatís whatís gonna make it hard for AEW. Itís not gonna be easy for them to generate money, revenue, in the advertising marketplace and then when they do, they have to split it. So I think thatís gonna be a tough sell."

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