In light of swirling rumours regarding the potential relocation of "WWE Raw" from its iconic Monday night slot—a timeslot it has confidently occupied for over three decades—Eric Bischoff, a seasoned expert with deep insights into the show’s historical trajectory, has come forward to express his thoughts on this potential shift.
During the pivotal Monday Night Wars, Bischoff, the former Senior Vice President of WCW, shared his perspectives on his podcast, "Strictly Business with Eric Bischoff." Bischoff elucidated that such a transition might pose initial challenges for the show’s ardent followers, given their ingrained habit of tuning in every Monday night.
He emphasized the importance of establishing viewing habits when creating a television brand, highlighting that any deviation from the norm can temporarily disrupt audience engagement. “You're endeavouring to cultivate a routine with your viewers, aiming for them to eagerly anticipate each episode and incorporate it into their regular viewing habits,” Bischoff expounded.
However, he reassured that any negative impacts on ratings would be transient and highlighted the wrestling audience’s unparalleled loyalty.
Ratings Dip and Recovery
Addressing the potential ratings dip, Bischoff projected a swift recovery, attributing it to the WWE fan base’s unwavering support.
He underscored that fans would be well-informed about any changes to "Raw’s" scheduling, minimizing potential disruptions. “The wrestling community is steadfast in its loyalty. Hence, the probability of losing a substantial portion of the audience for an extended period remains quite low,” he asserted.
Bischoff also reflected on past instances where wrestling shows shifted nights, noting that the audience eventually adapted. Amidst these discussions, WWE has confirmed that "WWE SmackDown" will transition from Fox to cable, making its debut on the USA Network in October 2024.
As reported by the Sports Business Journal, negotiations between WWE and NBCU, the parent company of the USA Network, for the rights to "Raw" are ongoing. While NBCU is perceived as the frontrunner in securing "Raw’s" rights, other major players, including Disney and Amazon, have reportedly expressed interest in acquiring WWE rights.
This strategic shift in WWE’s programming is poised to garner significant attention, and all eyes will be on how the audience responds to these changes in the wrestling world’s televised landscape.