Over the past 24 hours or so, there’s been a lot of chatter regarding AEW and possibly going to a 3rd hour or adding a 2nd 2 hour show on TNT. Personally, I don’t think it’s a wise move, especially right now during the current COVID-19 crisis. Here, I am going to lay our exactly why I think it’s a bad move.
First, there’s already “too much” wrestling programming on TV. In fact, there’s so much, that it’s leading to fan burnout. Just between Raw, SmackDown, NXT, Dynamite, Impact, and NJPW, we already have 14 to 15 hours of weekly programming. This doesn’t even factor in other venues, such as UFC, ROH, and NWA, which add at least another 7 hours of programming.
Then on PPV weekends, take that 14 to 15 hours and add another 5 to 10 hours depending on the promotion. Just a few weeks ago when Impact and WWE ran PPV’s on the same weekend, we had well over 30 hours of wrestling/contact sports programming. Will fans be able to stick around and put up with even just another hour or two of programming? It’s a risky move that may actually backfire by adding just that little bit more time.
Second, we already have programming on at least 5 days per week. Do we need a 6th day of programming? The only days we don’t have regular programming of wrestling and/or contact sports are Thursday and Sunday. This would likely lead to the 2nd AEW program being on Thursday to fill that slot. This would also mean that on PPV weekends, we would have 13 days straight of programming. Will audiences tune in that many days in a row or will they tune out?
Third, if AEW were to go to a 3rd hour, would they screw it up like WWE did or use it correctly by utilizing more talent in the programming? When Raw went to a 3rd hour, everyone expected to get the same as a 3rd hour special. This meant that we saw more talent used on TV and in the ring. However, we were left with extended microphone segments and in-ring action of the same performers as before. I feel that experience may have put a bad taste in the mouth of many fans about a 3rd hour. Add in the issues with COVID and lack of an extended roster, it would stretch thin the current talent pool.
Fourth, I mentioned before there is “too much” programming on TV, but that was just what gets broadcast. If we start adding in NWA, Main Event, NXT:UK, AEW Dark, and the other programming that is simply restricted to just streaming, there is definitely just too much programming to follow. I already get a lot of talent and storylines mixed up with just the broadcast programming. Adding onto it would just be chaos and create a load of clutter.
Finally, ratings. Every promotion right now is struggling with ratings. Knowing this, why on earth would we even consider expanding to more programming? Raw is tanking and setting record lows, AEW and NXT can rarely break 750k each, and Impact just charted for the first time in years, and that was with less than 200k viewers. The only program that has remained steady in the ratings is SmackDown, and that’s maintaining an average between 1.9 and 2.1 million viewers. The only reason I believe that is happening is due to being on FOX, which nearly every person in the US can access, even without cable.
So there’s my reasons why I think adding a 3rd hour or 2nd show for AEW right now would be a bad idea. What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!
By the way, Cody debunked this on Twitter:
No. It’s not. https://t.co/xHwVW6qheN
— Cody (@CodyRhodes) July 31, 2020