Saturday, December 13, 2014

Reviewing some year-end match stats (WWE)

In terms of the last 12 months (December 2013-November 2014), let's start by looking at Meltzer's ***+ Star Ratings.

Most three-star-plus matches in the past 12 months

  • Randy Orton: 16 matches
  • John Cena: 14 matches
  • Dean Ambrose: 12 matches
  • Seth Rollins: 11 matches
  • Cesaro: 11 matches  
  • Roman Reigns: 10 matches
  • Bray Wyatt: 10 matches
  • Daniel Bryan: 8 matches
  • Sheamus: 7 matches
  • Jack Swagger: 7 matches
  • Luke Harper & Erick Rowan: 5 matches
  • Jey & Jimmy Uso: 5 matches
  • Adrian Neville: 5 matches (NXT)
It's interesting to see Orton so high. He's certainly not someone who people have been thinking about as having a "big" year.

It's been a year where two of the WWE stars slated for the biggest pushes (Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns) were unexpectedly sidelined with serious injuries. Meanwhile, the old guard (Orton & Cena) continue to compete and perform at the top level. It's been a big year for the remnants of the Shield and Wyatt Family. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins really came into their own as singles stars, and the Harper/Rowan team really tore the house down when they were facing the Shield and the Usos. 

Cesaro may be the great missed opportunity in 2014. His show of strength in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal, his team with Swagger as the Real Americans, his excellent singles matches with RVD, Sheamus, Ziggler, Sami Zayn Cena, and Orton. It's clear WWE's lacks complete faith in him (as evidenced by Vince McMahon's comments during the Austin podcast). However, if there was anyone who persevered and demonstrated outstanding skill throughout the year,  Here's to hoping for a much better 2015.

WWE Matches that were rated *** or higher by Dave Meltzer

Randy Orton

12/15/13 Randy Orton vs. John Cena (Tables, Ladders and Chairs)
12/16/13 Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan ****
1/26/14 Randy Orton vs. John Cena ***1/4
2/3/14 Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan ****
2/7/14 Randy Orton vs. John Cena (Cage) (Non-televised) ***1/2 
2/10/14 Randy Orton vs. John Cena ***1/2
2/14/14 Randy Orton vs. Cesaro ***1/2
2/23/14 Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro vs. Christian (Elimination Chamber) ***3/4
4/7/14 Batista vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton ****1/2
5/4/14 Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose vs. Triple H/Randy Orton/Batista ****1/2
6/1/14 Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose vs. Triple H/Randy Orton/Batista (Elimination) ****
6/29/14 John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Kane vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Bray Wyatt (Ladder) ****
7/20/14 John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Kane ***1/4
8/17/14 Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton ****
9/14/14 Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho ****
10/26/14 John Cena vs. Randy Orton (Hell in a Cell) ***3/4

John Cena
12/15/13 Randy Orton vs. John Cena (Tables, Ladders and Chairs)
1/26/14 Randy Orton vs. John Cena ***1/4
2/7/14 Randy Orton vs. John Cena (Cage) (Non-televised) ***1/2 
2/10/14 Randy Orton vs. John Cena ***1/2
2/17/14 John Cena vs. Cesaro ****1/4
2/23/14 Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro vs. Christian (Elimination Chamber) ***3/4
4/7/14 John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt ***1/2
6/1/14 John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt (Last Man Standing) ****1/2
6/29/14 John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Kane vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Bray Wyatt (Ladder) ****
7/20/14 John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Kane ***1/4
8/17/14 Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena ****1/4
9/14/14 John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar ***1/2
10/26/14 John Cena vs. Randy Orton (Hell in a Cell) ***3/4
11/23/14 John Cena/Dolph Ziggler/Erick Rowan/Ryback/Big Show vs. Seth Rollins/Mark Henry/Luke Harper/Kane/Rusev (Elimination) ****1/2

Dean Ambrose
12/15/13 CM Punk vs. Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose ***
2/14/14 Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollings vs. Sheamus/Daniel Bryan/Christian ***3/4
2/23/14 Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan ****1/4
3/3/14 Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan ****1/2
4/8/14 Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt/Erick Rowan/Luke Harper ****1/4
5/4/14 Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose vs. Triple H/Randy Orton/Batista ****1/2
6/1/14 Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose vs. Triple H/Randy Orton/Batista (Elimination) ****
6/29/14 Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Kofi Kingston (Ladder) ****1/2
8/17/14 Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins (Lumberjack Match) ***3/4
8/18/14 Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins (Falls Count Anywhere) ****1/4
10/26/14 Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell) ****
11/23/14 Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose ***1/4

Seth Rollins
12/15/13 CM Punk vs. Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose ***
2/23/14 Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan ****1/4
3/3/14 Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan ****1/2
4/8/14 Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt/Erick Rowan/Luke Harper ****1/4
5/4/14 Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose vs. Triple H/Randy Orton/Batista ****1/2
6/1/14 Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose vs. Triple H/Randy Orton/Batista (Elimination) ****
6/29/14 Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Kofi Kingston (Ladder) ****1/2
8/17/14 Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins (Lumberjack Match) ***3/4
8/18/14 Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins (Falls Count Anywhere) ****1/4
10/26/14 Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell) ****
11/23/14 John Cena/Dolph Ziggler/Erick Rowan/Ryback/Big Show vs. Seth Rollins/Mark Henry/Luke Harper/Kane/Rusev (Elimination) ****1/2

Cesaro
2/14/14 Randy Orton vs. Cesaro ***1/2
2/17/14 John Cena vs. Cesaro ****1/4
2/23/14 Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro vs. Christian (Elimination Chamber) ***3/4
2/27/14 Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn (NXT) ****1/4
3/18/14 Goldust/Cody Rhodes vs. Cesaro/Jack Swagger ***1/2
4/7/14 Jimmy Uso/Jey Uso vs. Jack Swagger/Cesaro vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel vs. Diego/Fernando (Elimination) ***3/4
6/1/14 Sheamus vs. Cesaro ***1/4
6/29/14 John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Kane vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Bray Wyatt (Ladder) ****
8/17/14 Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro ***1/4
9/14/14 Sheamus vs. Cesaro ****
10/26/14 Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro (Two out of Three Falls) ***1/4

Roman Reigns
12/15/13 CM Punk vs. Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose ***
2/14/14 Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollings vs. Sheamus/Daniel Bryan/Christian ***3/4
2/23/14 Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan ****1/4
3/3/14 Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan ****1/2
4/8/14 Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt/Erick Rowan/Luke Harper ****1/4
5/4/14 Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose vs. Triple H/Randy Orton/Batista ****1/2
6/1/14 Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose vs. Triple H/Randy Orton/Batista (Elimination) ****
6/29/14 John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Kane vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Bray Wyatt (Ladder) ****
7/20/14 John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Kane ***1/4
8/17/14 Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton ****

Bray Wyatt
1/26/14 Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan ****
2/23/14 Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan ****1/4
3/3/14 Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan ****1/2
4/7/14 John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt ***1/2
4/8/14 Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt/Erick Rowan/Luke Harper ****1/4
 4/29/14 Sheamus vs. Bray Wyatt ***1/2
6/1/14 John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt (Last Man Standing) ****1/2
6/29/14 John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Kane vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Bray Wyatt (Ladder) ****
8/17/14 Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho ***
11/23/14 Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose ***1/4

Daniel Bryan
12/16/13 Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan ****
1/26/14 Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan ****
2/3/14 Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan ****
2/14/14 Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollings vs. Sheamus/Daniel Bryan/Christian ***3/4
2/23/14 Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro vs. Christian (Elimination Chamber) ***3/4
4/7/14 Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan ****1/4
4/7/14 Batista vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton ****1/2
5/4/14 Daniel Bryan vs. Kane (Extreme Rules) ***1/2

Sheamus
2/10/14 Christian/Sheamus vs. Antonio Cesaro/Jack Swagger ***1/2
2/14/14 Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollings vs. Sheamus/Daniel Bryan/Christian ***3/4
2/23/14 Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro vs. Christian (Elimination Chamber) ***3/4
 4/29/14 Sheamus vs. Bray Wyatt ***1/2
6/1/14 Sheamus vs. Cesaro ***1/4
6/29/14 John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Kane vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Bray Wyatt (Ladder) ****
9/14/14 Sheamus vs. Cesaro ****

Jack Swagger
12/15/13 Goldust/Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show/Rey Mysterio vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel vs. Jack Swagger/Antonio Cesaro ***1/2
2/10/14 Christian/Sheamus vs. Antonio Cesaro/Jack Swagger ***1/2
2/23/14 Big E vs. Jack Swagger ***
3/18/14 Goldust/Cody Rhodes vs. Cesaro/Jack Swagger ***1/2
4/7/14 Jimmy Uso/Jey Uso vs. Jack Swagger/Cesaro vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel vs. Diego/Fernando (Elimination) ***3/4
6/29/14 Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Kofi Kingston (Ladder) ****1/2
8/17/14 Rusev vs. Jack Swagger (Flag Match) ***1/4

Total number of Televised Matches in the past year

Again, the preponderance of televised matches from Cesaro really speaks to both his ability and work ethic. Interestingly, Dolph Ziggler, the Usos, Cesaro's partner Jack Swagger, Seth Rollins and Goldust & Stardust (Cody Rhodes) and RybAxel (Curtis Axel & Ryback) round out the list.


In terms of best records, Roman Reigns, Big E (Langston), Rusev (one loss during the Survivor Series tag match), Cena, Paige, Adam Rose, Big Show, Adrian Neville, Viktor & Konnor, Charlotte, El Torito, CM Punk, Kalisto, Simon Gotch and Bull Dempsey all had televised winning records above 75%. 

Worst records? Curtis Axel, Damien Mizdow (Sandow), Titus O'Neil, Fandango, Heath Slater, Kane, Drew McIntyre, Xavier Woods, Jinder Mahal, Aksana, Justin Gabriel, New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn), Zack Ryder, CJ Parker and Brodus Clay. About a quarter of that crew (Drew, Aksana, NAO, Brodus Clay) aren't wrestling with WWE anymore.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Did SmackDown usher in the era of "even-steven" booking?

The Query

Matt D. writes:
Chris,
Do you think that there might be a statistical correlation between the birth of smackdown and the start of the "even-stevens" booking in the WWF? If not, then maybe with the death of WCW and the end of the Monday Night wars? If so, is it something that dropped with the brand split and less TV or maybe rose after Lesnar left and WWE might have been less apt to push someone as The Man? 
Any thoughts?

Initial Thoughts

It's a good question. Obviously, there's challenges in quantifying what "even-steven" booking really refers to. Are we talking about person A and person B trading wins between each other? Are we talking about a lack of people being treated as "special" and exempt from losing? Are we discussing the idea that as a whole even the "pushed" wrestlers are losing at random moments to opponents that should be "beneath" them? (That's a lot of "quotes", eh?)

I could approach this by looking at some form of OCELOT ratings where we see what percentage of wrestlers "move up" a significant amount in rankings over a period of time and how that compares across eras. We could do that. However, that's not how I decided to approach it.

My approach
  1. Collect and process WWF/WWE results from 1980-2013 from CageMatch
  2. Filter to TV/PPV matches (excluding Dark Matches)
  3. Calculate win-loss records for each wrestler and total number of TV/PPV matches by year
  4. Include all wrestlers that have at least 20% of the maximum number of TV/PPV matches for that year (i.e. Bryan/Cesaro had most TV/PPV matches in 2013 at 102 so cut-off would be 21 matches meanwhile Tony Garea lead the 1981 list at 41 matches so cut-off was 9 matches)
  5. Categorize each wrestler's annual win-loss record into one of four categories: High [Above 71%], Mid [between 54% and 71%], Low [35% to 53%], Very Low [below 35%]. (These four buckets were chosen so that across the entire time-period, there would be an even distribution in each bucket.)
  6. Calculate what percentage of wrestlers from each year fall into each bucket over time.

Results



Distribution of Wrestlers by Televised/PPV Win Record by Year
YearHigh (71%+)Mid (54%-70%)Low (35%-53%)Very Low (<35 p="">Total
1980
12
4
3
10
29
1981
12
7
2
12
33
1982
20
5
7
17
49
1983
21
3
4
21
49
1984
23
9
4
18
54
1985
34
3
2
24
63
1986
29
14
2
22
67
1987
34
14
6
24
78
1988
34
12
4
25
75
1989
33
7
4
16
60
1990
40
3
4
21
68
1991
29
10
4
16
59
1992
35
7
3
17
62
1993
31
8
3
21
63
1994
33
2
21
56
1995
19
19
8
16
62
1996
10
11
9
10
40
1997
4
20
18
6
48
1998
3
20
21
10
54
1999
15
29
7
51
2000
1
17
26
6
50
2001
1
24
21
5
51
2002
4
26
27
12
69
2003
7
32
30
8
77
2004
5
22
29
15
71
2005
9
22
24
14
69
2006
7
23
34
14
78
2007
11
18
28
18
75
2008
2
25
24
17
68
2009
3
19
28
11
61
2010
2
20
33
16
71
2011
3
22
21
21
67
2012
5
17
19
15
56
2013
7
26
20
11
64
Total
523
506
501
517
2047

Analysis
  • I think the "even-steven" booking may have started before SmackDown began. 
  • From 1980 to 1994, the middle tiers (win records between 35%-54%) only compromised about 19% of the wrestlers. 
  • In 1995 and 1996, appears to be the inflection point where the number of people in the very top echelon (previously 48%) and the very bottom (previously 33%) started to drop. 
  • From 1997 to 2004 (the outermost bounds of what could be called the "Attitude Era"), there was very few people who were "protected" on top. However, it's a very rag-tag group ranging from top-of-the-card performers (Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Chris Benoit, Undertaker, Goldberg, Rock) to unusual midcarders (Steve Blackman, Dan Severn, Hugh Morrus, Rodney Mack, Val Venis, Jazz).
  • From 2005 to 2013, the percentage of wrestlers that had very high winning records was a little more consistent year-over-year: Batista, Big Show, CM Punk, John Cena, Sheamus, Undertaker. There was also several "flavors-of-the-month" which slip in such as Umaga, Snitsky, Alberto Del Rio, Heidenreich, Mark Henry, Ken Kennedy, Rob Van Dam and Ryback.
Full list of wrestlers by year available at indeedwrestling.com.

Notes: This doesn't differentiate between tag teams and singles matches. Losses are not qualified by whether they were clean or whether it was DQ/Count-Out/interference/etc.

Analysis by Chris Harrington (@mookieghana)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What we learned during the Q3 results from WWE...

Here's my "brief" synopsis of what we learned during today's Q3 results and Conference Call:
by Chris Harrington (chris.harrington@gmail.com); @mookieghana on Twitter

1. WWE will be launching in the U.K. using over-the-top technology in November. WWE Network is still unavailable in Italy, Germany, UAE, Japan, India, Thailand, Malaysia. Plans for those countries are yet to be announced.

2. WWE is abandoning the 6-month commitment model starting 11/1. Current subscribers will be "migrated" to the non-commitment model starting in December. For what it's worth, the $12.99 no-commitment model had attracted 23,000 subscribers by quarter end.

3. WWE is offering a free month to new subscribers for November. "We know sampling will be a big part of this business,” Mr. Barrios told the WSJ.

4. WWE received $50M in partial pre-payment in October from a recently completed TV Rights deal. (Could be Canada or India.) WWE also took a "$4.0 million impairment of an equity investment" this quarter. It's unknown what exactly this was candidates could include Phunware, Tout or even something like Marvel Ventures. Barrios hinted it was a technology-related investment when asked by an analyst.

5. WWE ended the quarter with 731,000 paid subscribers to the WWE Network (703,000 U.S. and 28,000 International) as of September 30, 2014. That 28,000 number does include the Rogers Canada subscribers.

6. WWE Network Advertising (which began 10/13 with Pepsi, Mattel, K-Mart, Take-Two Interactive and Pure Talk USA) isn't expected to generate enough meaningful revenue that WWE was going to adjust their overall economic model.

7. Since launch, WWE has attracted approximately 971,000 unique subscribers. However, only 75.2% remain as of September 30.

  • 2/24 to 3/31 (+519k, lost -24k) - these have hit 6-month renewal
  • 4/01 to 4/06 (+182k, lost -10k) - these will hit 6-month renewal first week of October.
  • 4/07 to 6/30 (+167k, lost -134k) - these will hit 6-month renewal in Q4
  • 7/01 to 9/30 (+286k, lost -255k)


8. WWE has finalized their TV distribution agreements in US, India, Canada, Mexico and UAE along with previous deals in UK and Thailand. This brings the company through about 2018 on "Key TV Contracts" for revenue estimates. Expect these seven distribution agreements will raise WWE TV Rights from ~$130M (2014) to ~$235M (2018).

9. WWE's new narrative is that the WWE Network is pushing "domestic transactions". Basically, they're promoting B-level PPVs are getting far more viewers with the $9.99/month WWE Network than they were when they were stand-alone, high-priced PPV offerings.

10. Misc Numbers: Raw (+2%) and SmackDown (+3%) TV ratings are up. Social Media is now over 420 million followers. North American attendance is down 7% (5100 fans) and event sponsorship revenue has dropped. International attendance is up 15% (7700 fans) but WWE ran 8 less int'l shows than last year. Licensing is up because of a "higher effective royalty rate" with the Video Game. WWE Studios only lost $0.4M this quarter (versus $7.4M last year when you include the Film Impairment charges in 2013). Corporate & Other costs have gone up $7.6M because of severance/restructuring charges ($2.1M) and talent development, brand marketing and expansion of WWE international infrastructure. "Charge of $1.8 million to write down certain assets associated with the Company's gamification initiative."

There was a lot of talk about churn and questions about specific markets (i.e. how is Canada doing?) but WWE wouldn't get into very clear numbers. They remain convinced that the OIBDA outlook for 2015 is on track.

I'm sure at least one list-bait site will want to turn this into a ten-page slideshow so I went ahead and made it easy for ya.

chris.harrington@gmail.com

WWE Q3 2014 - Your Links


Key Performance Indicators: through September 30, 2014 -- (Warrior DVD continues to limp along in sales)

Q3 2014 Results -- 731k subs as of 9/30; 971k subscribers since the service ever started; 28k int'l subscribers active in 9/30; no more $12.99 plan/no more 6-month commitment; UK should roll out OTT in November

Trending Schedules -- yes, Canada is part of OTT Subscription numbers.

WSJ Article on WWE Q3 Results -- good breakout of key #s.

WWE Earnings Presentation Slides -- really good breakouts




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Estimating Canadian WWE Network Subscribers through Rogers (Q3)

Regarding the estimate for Canadian WWE Network subscribers.

Population of the US is 316M. Population of Canada is 35M. (Source) Historically, WWE reported a "Domestic PPV" number which included US, Canada and Puerto Rico. While Canada is only 10% of the population, PPV buys from Canada were higher - I'd estimate more in the 15% of the total "domestic" buys range. That's a 1.5x multiplier.

Average buys for the normal PPVs (let's exclude WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and SummerSlam) from 2011-2013 was about 120,000 "domestic" buys. We'll assume that's about 102,000 from the US/Puerto Rico and 18,000 from Canada.

In the US, there's about "98 million homes that have cable" (WON 1/20/2014, subscription required). Nielsen estimates there are "116.3 million homes in the US" which have "at least one operable TV/monitor with the ability to deliver video via traditional means of antennae, cable set-top-box or satellite receiver and/or with a broadband connection." If we take the midpoint of these two, let's say the US market for accessing WWE PPVs would be 107M.

Prior to launching the WWE Network, WWE was getting about 102,000 PPV buys out of 107,000,000 "eligible" homes. That's about 0.1%. Let's assume that at least 80% of the Q2 700,000 WWE Network subscribers are located in the United States (560,000 US WWE Network subscribers).  So, 560,000/102,000 = 5.5x multiplier. That is, we're seeing about 5.5x the "normal" US PPV baseline in WWE Network Volume (due to the lower price).

In Canada, only Rogers Communications is offering a version of the WWE Network. That's a base of 5.2 million cable subscribers. Assuming that we're seeing about the higher-per-capita rate of Canadian WWE fans (0.15% in Canada instead of 0.10% in US), that would be 7,500 PPV buys at regular price. using the 5.5x multiplier, that would suggest about 41,000 Canadian WWE Network subscribers. Keep mind the price in Canada is more like $12/month so I'm not even factoring in some price elasticity due to a 30% markup against the domestic/global WWE Network price.

Thus, that's why I would expect that WWE will record something in the range of 40,000 to 50,000 WWE Network subscribers in Canada. Whether they'll actually explicitly tell us that in the Q3 update, remains to be seen!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Trying to estimate the Q3 WWE Network Subscription Number

Let's start with what we know:

WWE Network
03/31/14: 495,000 subscribers (10-Q; filed 5/2/14)
04/07/14: 667,287 subscribers (Press Release 4/7/14)
06/30/14: 699,750 subscribers (10-Q; filed 8/1/14)

There's some additional data-points hidden in the 10-Q releases.

3/31/14
Q1 Network Segment Net Revenue: +$18,432,000
Q1 Network Segment OIBDA:-$3,589,000
Q1 PPV Buys: 677,400
Q1 Revenue/Buys: $20.00
Q1 PPV Revenue Calculated: $20.00 x 677,400 = $13,548,000
Q1 WWE Network Revenue: $18,432,000 - $13,548,000 = $4,884,000
Q1 Paid Subscription Days: 29 days (2/24/14 to 3/31/14 with a one-week free trial)
Q1 Estimated Subscriptions at Midpoint: $4,884,000 / $9.99 = 488,889 subscriptions on 3/16/14

6/30/14
Q2 Network Segment Net Revenue: $43,235,000
Q2 Network Segment OIBDA:-$7,347,000
Q2 PPV Buys: 1,058,600
Q2 Revenue/Buys: $22.51
Q2 PPV Revenue Calculated: $22.51 x 1,058,600 = $23,829,000
Q2 WWE Network Revenue: $43,235,000 - $23,829,000 = $19,406,000
Q2 Paid Subscription Days: 91 days (4/1/14 to 6/30/14)
Q2 Estimated Subscriptions at Midpoint: $19,406,000 / $9.99 = 647,511 subscriptions on 5/15/14

Since Q2 number, there's been two big developments:
I) First round of six-month subscriptions coming up for renewal
II) Global Launch of the WWE Network

Let's combine known/derived information.

A. 02/23/2014: no subscribers
B. 03/16/2014: 488,889 subscribers
C. 03/31/2014: 495,000 subscribers
D. 04/07/2014: 667,287 subscribers
E. 05/15/2014: 647,511 subscribers
F. 06/30/2014: 699,750 subscribers

A to B: growth at 23,280/day
B to C: growth at 407/day
C to D: growth at 24,612/day
D to E: decline at 520/day
E to F: growth at 1,136/day


There's several pieces to the current WWE Network subscription number:
a) Subscribers to the domestic WWE Network who have renewed
b) Subscribers to the domestic WWE Network who are still in their initial six-month subscription
c) Subscribers to the global OTT WWE Network
d) Subscribers to the Rogers/Canadian "WWE Network"

We know that at least 495,000 subscribers will have their subscription come up for renewal before Q3. In reality, it's logical to conclude that the entire WrestleMania crowd (667,287) ought to be up for renewal (though I suspect some of these people were involved in the 128,000 cancellations from Q2).

Let's assume that WWE Network retention could range from low (I'll say 70%) to high (I'll say 90%).
With the "WM base" that would range from 467,000 (70%) to 534,000 (80%) to 601,000 (90%).
Let's take the midpoint (534,000).

Subscribers to the domestic WWE Network who have joined after WrestleMania and are still in their initial six-month period would probably be around 137,000. Let's assume they are still active.

Then you have the international roll-out on August 12.
There's essentially two pieces: the international OTT service and the Canadian Rogers service.

If we look at the original Q1 growth for the domestic service (13,750/day), the international roll-out could range from 5% to 40% as robust. After 50 days, international subscriptions could range from 34,375 (5% of domestic ramp-up) to 68,750 (10%) to 171,875 (25%) to 206,250 (30%) to 275,000 (35%).

I'm going to go with about 15% which would suggest about 103,125 international WWE Network OTT subscriptions.

The Canadian/Rogers' number is even harder to guess. It could be tiny or relatively large. For now, I'll go with 50,000.

Subscriptions = non-renewal base + renewed base + int'l OTT + Rogers
Subscriptions = 137,000 + 534,000 + 103,125 + 50,000 = 824,125.

Q3 prediction of 800,000 to 825,000 seems to be a popular bet.

Analysis: Chris Harrington (@mookieghana) / chris.harrington@gmail.com

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Streaming Services Update

As we eagerly await the latest update on WWE Network subscriber numbers (WWE Q3 earnings and conference call tentatively scheduled for 10/30), today is a good opportunity to catch up on the latest news and developments in the area of over-the-top streaming video services.


HBO GO

First up is yesterday's news from Chairman and CEO of Home Box Office, Inc. Richard Plepler that HBO would be launching a "stand alone" version of their popular HBO Go service.

Variety immediately speculated on some questions around what this service may look like:

  • Would it have the full library of past and current HBO programming? 
  • Would it cost more than the normal monthly HBO pay-TV price? 

Already, we've seen a few answers emerge to address these questions. New York Post media Reporter Claire Atkinson tweeted that according to executives the "HBO GO OTT will be the full monty... not a lightweight version." And the Wall Street Journal reported that "according to a person familiar with the matter... the fee for the new service isn’t expected to be any cheaper than... average monthly cost for an HBO subscription ($15)."

CEO Plepler noted there is already "10 million broadband-only homes" and that "large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped." Certainly, with sky-high piracy rates for popular HBO shows like Game of Thrones, there's a healthy appetite for the original content. However, how much that will translate into recaptured revenue from new U.S. subscriptions remains anyone's guess.

HBO Go is already available as an internet-only option in the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark). This is no doubt a response to the rapid growth of Netflix in this same area. This area of the world has been a fertile ground for over-the-top subscription services with some analysts connecting this to the acceptance and growth created by Spotify (a Swedish company).




NETFLIX

As the SNL Kagan's analysis highlights, Netflix has continued to robustly grow their domestic streaming subscribers numbers over the last three years while HBO has only gently increased their domestic subscriber ranks.

As the chart above demonstrates, Netflix has continued to acquire new members. However, the company's stock did drop more than 20% when announced Q3 results which did not match original forecasts. It should be stressed that Netflix still added 3 million new members (1 million US, 2 million int'l) but they didn't meet the original target of 3.7 million new members.

Interestingly, the company is pointing the finger of blame on "slightly higher prices we now 
have compared to a year ago. Slightly higher prices result in slightly less growth, other things being 
equal, and this is manifested more clearly in higher adoption markets such as the US." The letter to shareholders goes on to note that the "large positive reception to Season Two of Orange is the New Black" seems to have offset the "late Q2 and early Q3 the impact of higher prices".

It does seem remarkable that a $1 price increase in the U.S. in May would have such a blunt impact on subscription growth. As CEO Reed Hastings told the Associated Press, "There is slightly more (pricing) sensitivity than we thought".  (It would appear the new drinking game is around the word "slightly".)



WWE NETWORK

One reoccurring theme from reading articles about Netflix and HBO Go is that content is still king.

The strength of these services is built on the high-quality programs they create and rights they control. It's an important lesson that if you're implementing a price adjustment, they'll need to time it strategically. In WWE's example, one would expect that would be around premium event such as WrestleMania. 

Still, I don't expect that we'll see what Robert Routh said during the Q1 conference call, "all you need is one House of Cards or one Game of Thrones and obviously subscriptions for WWE network will go off the chart."

In attempt to generate additional revenue, this week the WWE announced they are adding limited video advertising to the WWE Network. I outlined all the important elements in my B/R article (15-30 seconds, every fourth stream, initial sponsors include Pepsi, Mattel and Kmart). 

Certainly, more established services such as Netflix and HBO Go have eschewed advertisements while smaller services with smaller subscription bases such as Hulu Plus (6+ million) continue to utilize them. Why? "(T)o reduce the monthly subscription price of the service."  With WWE still struggling to hit a million subscribers, it makes far more sense for them to follow Hulu Plus' model instead of Netflix or HBO Go.

One positive step for the WWE Network is that there's a new Chief Digital Officer (Lou Schwartz) whose responsibilities include overseeing "product development and operations for WWE Network." While the company has recently been doing cost-cutting, it's good to know that executive positions, particularly in the digital media space, aren't going to stay vacant forever.


OTHER

A new player in the streaming media space include "CBS All Access" ($5.99/month), The USA Network just launched their new app "USA Now" (and companion "SyFy Now"). 

Thursday, October 09, 2014

WWF 1963-1993 Wrestlenomics

I've been going through the archived results from TheHistoryofWWE, In particular, I've been looking at 1963-1993.

The recorded record for WWF shows after Monday Night Raw was established is fairly solid. Most of those results have been cataloged into the databases at CageMatch and WrestlingData. Things are much more spotty for results from the 1960s, 1970s and even early 1980s.

Periodically, I like to audit the current results up at History of WWE and see how complete the record is/is not.

Old results are always challenging because there's a lot of name/spelling issues in the results and everything is (understandably) far less complete. You also have a lot more lines that say "also featured" and "included". These notes often don't get put into databases as wrestling appearances but really should be included because they can represent a large hunk of appearances for some wrestlers.
(I've tried my best to include these appearances in my "match database" that I built.)

The History of WWE - All Events 1963-1992 pages

yeareventsmatchesmatches
per card
yeareventsmatchesmatches
per card
1963
296
1222
4.13
1978
491
3182
6.48
1964
294
1271
4.32
1979
437
2843
6.51
1965
259
942
3.64
1980
481
3033
6.31
1966
356
1271
3.57
1981
474
3092
6.52
1967
296
1167
3.94
1982
499
3555
7.12
1968
260
1124
4.32
1983
605
4092
6.76
1969
230
1185
5.15
1984
688
4591
6.67
1970
250
1225
4.90
1985
704
4872
6.92
1971
238
1143
4.80
1986
745
4386
5.89
1972
276
1405
5.09
1987
750
4744
6.33
1973
232
1175
5.06
1988
631
4268
6.76
1974
215
953
4.43
1989
617
3926
6.36
1975
343
1528
4.45
1990
613
4181
6.82
1976
400
2178
5.45
1991
499
3878
7.77
1977
469
2792
5.95
1992
494
3697
7.48

Keep in mind that results I used contain a lot more than just WWWF results.

There's lots of results from Toronto, Pittsburgh and international shows (often joint promotions) such as tours with Japanese companies. Still, it's interesting to see some of the trends that emerge.

Here's a look at the average number of matches reported per card:


Isn't it remarkable how the average number of matches per card has shot up over time?

It goes from about four (1960s) to five (early 1970s) to six (late 1970s) to more than six (1980s) to more than seven (1990s). I believe that this is a combination of lots of factors. 

The further back you go, the record grows less complete. Oftentimes, only the title matches (especially a world title match) are called out on the cards. The matches from the undercard may be missing. Also, some of these spot shows could actually had far less matches than today's lavish house shows. Lastly, television tapings, particularly the infamous marathon television tapings for syndicated programming from the 1980s and early 1990s, can skew the matches/card metric.

yeareventsatt record?% of
events
yeareventsatt record?% of
events
1963
296
21
7%
1978
491
21
4%
1964
294
20
7%
1979
436
14
3%
1965
259
23
9%
1980
481
55
11%
1966
356
11
3%
1981
474
71
15%
1967
294
12
4%
1982
499
72
14%
1968
260
10
4%
1983
605
87
14%
1969
229
20
9%
1984
688
195
28%
1970
250
19
8%
1985
704
311
44%
1971
238
15
6%
1986
745
331
44%
1972
276
10
4%
1987
750
367
49%
1973
232
21
9%
1988
632
258
41%
1974
215
21
10%
1989
617
238
39%
1975
344
17
5%
1990
613
287
47%
1976
401
15
4%
1991
499
226
45%
1977
468
40
9%
1992
494
284
57%

This looks at what proportion of the wrestling events actually have any sort of "attendance" record connected with it. For the first fifteen years, the percentage is hovering at/below 10%. Things get a lot more complete in the early 1980s (when the Wrestling Observer Newsletter comes along) and by 1985, it's closing in on more than 40% of the events.

When you're trying to evaluate "drawing power" for WWWF champions, these sorts of sample size differences make it tough. Consider, between 1963-1972, Sammartino had well over 1,500 matches. However, there's only records (in this dataset) covering about 67 crowds over ten thousand people. Conversely, in Hulk Hogan's 325 matches between 1985 and 1986, there's over 125 shows with 10k+ crowds. While WWF was extremely hot in the Hulkamania Rock 'n' Wrestling era, it's disingenuous to simply compare the where I have 642 attendance records (1985/1986) and where I only have 161 attendance records (1963-1972). 

However, you can look at "drawing power" from within the same time period among WWF stars.

For instance, consider WWF tours with and without Hulk Hogan appearing between 1984-1989. I found 97 cities which had attendance records for shows that both did and did not include Hulk.



Location
No Hogan
w/ Hogan
diff
Albuquerque, NM -- USA
2,522
7,593
5,070
Anaheim, CA -- USA
3,917
8,250
4,333
Arena St. Louis, MO -- USA
5,454
10,575
5,121
Atlanta, GA -- USA
3,021
4,658
1,637
Auburn Hills, MI -- USA
6,900
13,750
6,850
Baltimore, MD -- USA
8,132
11,489
3,356
Binghamton, NY -- USA
2,422
5,900
3,478
Birmingham, AL -- USA
3,120
12,000
8,880
Boston, MA -- USA
10,524
12,707
2,184
Buffalo, NY -- USA
5,829
9,038
3,209
Calgary, AB -- CANADA
8,500
15,000
6,500
Chicago, IL -- USA
7,713
12,527
4,814
Cincinnati, OH -- USA
3,830
7,981
4,151
Cleveland, OH -- USA
6,671
13,250
6,579
Columbus, OH -- USA
3,353
21,333
17,980
Dallas, TX -- USA
1,460
2,994
1,534
Dayton, OH -- USA
1,000
8,000
7,000
Denver, CO -- USA
4,842
7,019
2,177
Des Moines, IA -- USA
2,000
11,000
9,000
Detroit, MI -- USA
8,473
12,263
3,790
East Rutherford, NJ -- USA
8,054
14,335
6,281
Edmonton, AB -- CANADA
9,500
12,500
3,000
Erie, PA -- USA
2,276
4,850
2,573
Foxboro, MA -- USA
12,000
23,000
11,000
Fresno, CA -- USA
4,486
7,725
3,239
Glens Falls, NY -- USA
5,833
8,500
2,667
Greensboro, NC -- USA
1,800
2,835
1,035
Halifax, NS -- CANADA
5,667
7,500
1,833
Hamilton, ONT -- CANADA
10,560
15,500
4,940
Hartford, CT -- USA
6,244
11,730
5,486
Hershey, PA -- USA
4,687
7,767
3,080
Houston, TX -- USA
5,575
5,375
(200)
Huntsville, AL -- USA
9,000
6,781
(2,220)
Indianapolis, IN -- USA
7,000
8,352
1,352
Jackson, MS -- USA
2,086
4,500
2,414
Joe Louis Detroit, MI -- USA
20,000
20,997
997
Kansas City, MO -- USA
3,323
6,929
3,605
Kiel Auditorium
 - St. Louis, MO -- USA
4,067
6,387
2,320
Landover, MD -- USA
5,589
12,977
7,388
Las Vegas, NV -- USA
3,833
10,807
6,973
Little Rock, AR -- CANADA
2,452
3,800
1,348
London, ONT -- CANADA
3,918
2,500
(1,418)
Long Island, NY -- USA
7,255
12,473
5,218
Los Angeles, CA -- USA
8,277
12,336
4,058
Louisville, KY -- USA
1,189
3,587
2,398
Madison, WI -- USA
4,100
7,557
3,457
Maple Leaf Gardens 
Toronto, ONT -- CANADA
17,500
18,000
500
Memphis, TN -- USA
750
4,475
3,725
Miami, FL -- USA
3,041
5,104
2,063
Milwaukee, WI -- USA
4,402
13,993
9,591
Minneapolis, MN -- USA
2,750
7,660
4,910
Montreal, QC -- CANADA
12,737
16,167
3,429
MSG New York City, NY -- USA
17,407
19,259
1,852
Nashville, TN -- USA
6,482
9,000
2,518
New Haven, CT -- USA
4,155
9,850
5,695
New Orleans, LA -- USA
1,800
6,267
4,467
Oakland, CA -- USA
7,519
11,810
4,291
Oklahoma City, OK -- USA
2,175
3,472
1,297
Omaha, NE -- USA
5,831
9,443
3,612
Orlando, FL -- USA
5,600
9,200
3,600
Osaka, Japan -- JAPAN
13,000
5,841
(7,159)
Paris, France -- FRANCE
12,000
12,000
-
Peoria, IL -- USA
3,789
10,500
6,711
Philadelphia, PA -- USA
9,210
12,934
3,724
Phoenix, AZ -- USA
6,084
11,820
5,736
Pittsburgh, PA -- USA
9,327
12,546
3,219
Pontiac, MI -- USA
2,400
25,406
23,006
Portland, ME -- USA
3,270
8,550
5,281
Portland, OR -- USA
4,000
6,750
2,750
Providence, RI -- USA
6,321
8,500
2,179
Richfield, OH -- USA
6,214
11,793
5,579
Richmond, VA -- USA
6,250
8,955
2,705
Rochester, NY -- USA
2,974
8,238
5,264
Rockford, IL -- USA
1,917
10,000
8,083
Sacramento, CA -- USA
5,282
7,880
2,598
Salisbury, MD -- USA
7,000
6,850
(150)
Salt Lake City, UT -- USA
5,562
7,200
1,638
San Antonio, TX -- USA
9,000
6,000
(3,000)
San Diego, CA -- USA
5,871
10,875
5,004
San Francisco, CA -- USA
7,189
10,500
3,311
Seattle, WA -- USA
5,900
16,000
10,100
South Bend, IN -- USA
2,586
10,749
8,163
Springfield, IL -- USA
4,217
8,302
4,086
Springfield, MA -- USA
4,153
6,133
1,980
St. Louis, MO -- USA
3,879
6,131
2,252
Syracuse, NY -- USA
2,120
6,000
3,880
Tacoma, WA -- USA
7,731
15,068
7,337
Tampa, FL -- USA
4,000
9,780
5,780
Tokyo, Japan -- JAPAN
10,000
11,000
1,000
Toledo, OH -- USA
5,433
8,881
3,448
Toronto, ONT -- CANADA
9,849
12,810
2,961
Vancouver, BC -- CANADA
4,233
16,000
11,767
Wheeling, WV -- USA
3,334
7,190
3,857
Wichita, KS -- USA
10,000
7,932
(2,068)
Winnipeg, MB -- CANADA
3,600
11,894
8,294
Worcester, MA -- USA
2,000
9,805
7,805
Youngstown, OH -- USA
2,900
6,000
3,100
Median5,4339,0383,605

The initial exercise suggests that in over 90% of the cities, shows with Hogan drew remarkable more than shows without Hogan.

This is certainly not a perfect dataset. There are apples-oranges comparisons including matinees versus evening shows, television tapings versus house shows, pay-per-views versus spot shows, etc. However, the general trend is very telling.

Sure, Hogan was a big attraction the first few times. However, what happens with the Immortal One comes to your town more than a handful of times? Does his drawing power "hold up"?

Let's look at the 44 cities which had at least four visits from Hogan (along with some shows where Hulk Hogan was not there). Again, we must have attendance records available.


CityHogan
Appearances
(w/ att. Record)
First Three
Hogan
RemainingDifferenceNo HoganJudgment
Philadelphia, PA -- USA
33
12,370
12,991
620
9,210
Flat (5%)
MSG New York City, NY -- USA
28
25,795
18,475
(7,319)
17,407
Down (-28%)
Chicago, IL -- USA
24
7,500
13,245
5,745
7,713
Up (77%)
Los Angeles, CA -- USA
23
8,667
12,886
4,219
8,277
Up (49%)
Boston, MA -- USA
22
14,233
12,466
(1,767)
10,524
Down (-12%)
Minneapolis, MN -- USA
22
10,500
7,211
(3,289)
2,750
Down (-31%)
Kiel Auditorium 
- St. Louis, MO -- USA
19
7,647
6,150
(1,497)
4,067
Down (-20%)
Pittsburgh, PA -- USA
18
14,667
12,121
(2,545)
9,327
Down (-17%)
Oakland, CA -- USA
15
10,733
12,079
1,346
7,519
Up (13%)
East Rutherford, NJ -- USA
14
15,918
13,903
(2,015)
8,054
Down (-13%)
Landover, MD -- USA
14
15,400
12,316
(3,084)
5,589
Down (-20%)
Richfield, OH -- USA
14
13,333
11,373
(1,961)
6,214
Down (-15%)
Houston, TX -- USA
13
3,300
5,997
2,697
5,575
Up (82%)
Toronto, ONT -- CANADA
12
11,407
13,278
1,871
9,849
Up (16%)
Hartford, CT -- USA
10
10,833
12,114
1,281
6,244
Up (12%)
Milwaukee, WI -- USA
9
9,784
16,097
6,313
4,402
Up (65%)
Long Island, NY -- USA
9
12,945
12,237
(707)
7,255
Flat (-5%)
Baltimore, MD -- USA
9
11,367
11,550
183
8,132
Flat (2%)
Kansas City, MO -- USA
9
6,333
7,226
893
3,323
Up (14%)
Detroit, MI -- USA
8
14,167
11,121
(3,046)
8,473
Down (-22%)
San Francisco, CA -- USA
8
7,667
12,200
4,533
7,189
Up (59%)
Miami, FL -- USA
8
3,974
5,782
1,807
3,041
Up (45%)
Providence, RI -- USA
7
8,667
8,375
(292)
6,321
Flat (-3%)
Cincinnati, OH -- USA
7
7,123
8,625
1,502
3,830
Up (21%)
Denver, CO -- USA
7
7,454
6,693
(762)
4,842
Down (-10%)
Montreal, QC -- CANADA
6
20,333
12,000
(8,333)
12,737
Down (-41%)
Omaha, NE -- USA
6
9,115
9,771
656
5,831
Flat (7%)
Hershey, PA -- USA
6
8,833
6,700
(2,133)
4,687
Down (-24%)
Atlanta, GA -- USA
6
5,500
3,815
(1,685)
3,021
Down (-31%)
Maple Leaf Gardens Toronto
, ONT -- CANADA
5
17,833
18,250
417
17,500
Flat (2%)
Tacoma, WA -- USA
5
19,746
8,050
(11,696)
7,731
Down (-59%)
Phoenix, AZ -- USA
5
11,067
12,950
1,883
6,084
Up (17%)
Sacramento, CA -- USA
5
7,133
9,000
1,867
5,282
Up (26%)
Pontiac, MI -- USA
4
29,875
12,000
(17,875)
2,400
Down (-60%)
San Diego, CA -- USA
4
10,500
12,000
1,500
5,871
Up (14%)
Arena St. Louis, MO -- USA
4
11,167
8,800
(2,367)
5,454
Down (-21%)
New Haven, CT -- USA
4
9,033
12,300
3,267
4,155
Up (36%)
Buffalo, NY -- USA
4
8,833
9,651
818
5,829
Flat (9%)
Rochester, NY -- USA
4
8,450
7,600
(850)
2,974
Down (-10%)
Fresno, CA -- USA
4
7,300
9,000
1,700
4,486
Up (23%)
Salt Lake City, UT -- USA
4
4,933
14,000
9,067
5,562
Up (184%)
Wheeling, WV -- USA
4
6,987
7,800
813
3,334
Up (12%)
Memphis, TN -- USA
4
4,067
5,700
1,633
750
Up (40%)
Dallas, TX -- USA
4
2,126
5,600
3,474
1,460
Up (163%)

Ultimately, here was the tally:

  • 20 cities were UP more than 10% in average attendance in the later Hogan appearances compared to the initial ones. 
  • 17 cities were DOWN more than 10% in average attendance in later Hogan appearances compare to the initial ones.  
  • 7 cities were FLAT which meant overall attendance for those Hogan shows after the initial trio was within the +/- 10% of the original Hogan attendances. 
One might argue that there's a slightly negative trend, but the average drop in attendance across the cities was 300 people which doesn't really seem very substantial to me.

There are places like Boston or St. Louis or Minneapolis or Denver or Montreal where it looks like Hogan's repeat appearances might have diminished in effectiveness. Bruno's drawing record at MSG is certainly much stronger (and lengthier) than Hogan's. However, I think it might be an over-simplification to ignore examples of Chicago or Milwaukee or Miami or Phoenix where it appears that Hogan held up just fine with repeat appears. In all, it seems to be a mixed bag.

Honestly, there's the counter-argument that Hogan went back to these cities because it was clear he was still a draw there and it's really about the cities they didn't book because they didn't feel Hogan was going to pop the house. I'd have to keep digging to really make a strong determination.

Hope this was interesting to you faithful readers. All analysis by Chris Harrington. 

Twitter: @mookieghana
Email: chris.harrington@gmail.com