Veteran wrestling magnate Eric Bischoff ardently emphasizes the undeniable potency of live broadcasts in the contemporary, digital age of wrestling entertainment, drawing parallels with the era of the 90s. In a discerning conversation on the 83 Weeks podcast, Bischoff highlighted the pivotal role played by WCW Nitro, which under his steerage, pioneered the concept of weekly live shows, a practice that compelled WWE to follow suit.
Bischoff elucidated, “The intrinsic value of WWE content is prominently magnified because it's live. Professional wrestling might not be categorized under sports, but it mirrors the live, dynamic energy characteristic of sporting events”.
This resonance with live sports creates an irreplaceable bond and an urgency that, according to Bischoff, is palpably absent in taped content. This enthralling immediacy, whether consciously or subconsciously absorbed, has the viewer tethered to the unfolding spectacle as if it’s unfurling in real-time before them.
Prioritizing Live Broadcasts
Delving into the past, Bischoff expounded on the perceptible vitality imbued within live broadcasts, even dating back to 25 years ago. Despite being financially more burdensome, his steadfast belief in the magnetic energy and immersive audience engagement of live broadcasts underpinned his decision to propel Nitro to air live 52 weeks a year.
“The financial prudence of emulating WWE’s hybrid model of live and taped shows was evident, yet the irreplicable energy and audience connectivity of live broadcasts unequivocally buttressed my intent of sending a clear message to our audience: being part of the live event is an unmissable experience,” he explained.
This strategy wasn’t without its challenges. WCW's attempts to usurp WWE by prematurely revealing taped Raw results backfired spectacularly on January 4, 1999, when Mick Foley clinched the WWE Championship, underscoring that the battlefield of live vs.
taped content is rife with unpredictabilities. Navigating through the currently prevalent WWE and AEW broadcasts, Bischoff maintains his staunch perspective on live content, reinforcing that its intrinsic value not only persists but arguably magnifies in today’s digital world, where content is incessantly leaked and disseminated online.
Bischoff’s experiential wisdom, particularly against the backdrop of AEW’s decisions, is conveyed with unvarnished honesty on his podcast, aligning with his beliefs and his rich, historical involvement in the professional wrestling space.