Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Deciphering WCW Buyrates

One of the great advantages of WWE being a public company is that it's possible to decode their financial filings into concrete numbers regarding attendance, TV Rights fees and PPV buys. Alas, things are never quite as clear for poor WCW (World Championship Wrestling)


That isn't to say there isn't any information out there -- it's just scattered and sometimes contradictory.

Attendance
Dave Meltzer collects monthly stats on major wrestling federations which supplies us with WCW House Show Attendance 1991-2001:
TV Rights
Television Rights Fees were much less of "a thing" for pro wrestling back in the 1990s as compared to today.  Still, WCW was owned by a media network (Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.) and they were trying to grow the product base and make money through additional broadcasting.  They added a third hour to Nitro in 1999, launched Thunder, held internet-only audio broadcasts and created other specialized broadcasts such as WCW Live all which no doubt were designed to gain money through advertising and promoting the PPVs.  

Sadly, information from public filings only scantly mention World Championship Wrestling; there are random notes on ventures such as the Nitro Grill in Las Vegas, delicious Trimfast WCW Bars, nWo t-shirts, and WCW Action Figures.  WCW was rarely mentioned in Turner Public Filings -- usually just listed as one of the many, many assets of a major media and entertainment corporation.

PPV
Scattered across the web, there's a few places that have some WCW PPV numbers. But since it's about the mid-1990s, you're stuck in the world between buyrates (percentage of capable homes that purchased an event) and buys (the number of homes that bought the event).

Some of the data sources I have used:
The final column is CDH Estimate which is basically my formulaic guess at what might be plausible.


WCW EventDatePWH Buyrate GER Buyrate PWO buys CDH Estimate
Starrcade 1987
11/26/1987
3.30
20,000
20,000
Bunkhouse Stampede
1/24/1988
3.50
200,000
200,000
Great American Bash 1988
7/10/1988
2.20
190,000
190,000
Starrcade 1988
12/26/1988
1.80
100,000 to 150,000
150,000
Chi-Town Rumble
2/20/1989
1.50

130,000
WrestleWar 1989
5/7/1989
1.30

120,000
Great American Bash 1989
7/23/1989
1.50

140,000
Halloween Havoc 1989
10/28/1989
1.77

175,000
Starrcade 1989
12/13/1989
1.30

130,000
WrestleWar 1990
2/25/1990
1.60

175,000
Capital Combat
5/19/1990
1.40

160,000
Great American Bash 1990
7/7/1990
1.70

200,000
Halloween Havoc 1990
10/27/1990
1.30

160,000
Starrcade 1990
12/16/1990
1.30

165,000
WrestleWar 1991
2/24/1991
1.20
1.20

160,000
Superbrawl I
5/19/1991
1.04
1.04

150,000
Great American Bash 1991
7/14/1991
1.00

145,000
Halloween Havoc 1991
10/27/1991
0.80
0.80

120,000
Starrcade 1991
12/29/1991
1.00
0.70

155,000
Superbrawl II
2/29/1992
0.96
0.70

160,000
WrestleWar 1992
5/17/1992
0.61
0.60

105,000
Beach Blast 1992
6/20/1992
0.40
0.40

70,000
Great American Bash 1992
7/12/1992
0.40
0.40

70,000
Halloween Havoc 1992
10/25/1992
0.90

165,000
Starrcade 1992
12/28/1992
0.50
0.50
95,000
95,000
Superbrawl III
2/21/1993
0.50
0.50
85,000
95,000
Slamboree 1993
5/23/1993
0.50
110,000
100,000
Beach Blast 1993
7/18/1993
0.50
0.50
100,000
100,000
Fall Brawl 1993
9/19/1993
0.46
0.46
95,000
95,000
Halloween Havoc 1993
10/24/1993
0.50
0.50
100,000
100,000
BattleBowl
11/20/1993
0.27
0.27
60,000
55,000
Starrcade 1993
12/27/1993
0.55
0.55
120,000
115,000
Superbrawl IV
2/20/1994
0.50
0.50
110,000
110,000
Spring Stampede 1994
4/17/1994
0.53
0.50
125,000
115,000
Slamboree 1994
5/22/1994
0.48
100,000
105,000
Bash at the Beach 1994
7/17/1994
1.02
1.02
225,000
225,000
Fall Brawl 1994
9/18/1994
0.53
0.53
110,000
115,000
Halloween Havoc 1994
10/23/1994
0.97
0.97
220,000
210,000
Starrcade 1994
12/27/1994
0.60
0.60

130,000
Superbrawl V
2/19/1995
0.95
0.95
215,000
180,000
Uncensored 1995
3/19/1995
0.96
0.96
200,000
180,000
Slamboree 1995
5/21/1995
0.57
0.57
100,000
110,000
Great American Bash 1995
6/18/1995
0.51
0.51
90,000
100,000
Bash at the Beach 1995
7/16/1995
0.82
180,000
160,000
Fall Brawl 1995
9/17/1995
0.48
0.48
85,000
95,000
Halloween Havoc 1995
10/29/1995
0.60
0.60
120,000
120,000
World War 3 1995
11/26/1995
0.43
0.43

90,000
Starrcade 1995
12/27/1995
0.36
0.36

75,000
Superbrawl VI
2/11/1996
0.60
0.60

210,000
Uncensored 1996
3/24/1996
0.70
0.70

250,000
Slamboree 1996
5/19/1996
0.44
0.44

155,000
Great American Bash 1996
6/16/1996
0.48
0.48

170,000
Bash at the Beach 1996
7/7/1996
0.71

250,000
Hog Wild 1996
8/10/1996
0.62
0.62

220,000
Fall Brawl 1996
9/15/1996
0.65
0.65

230,000
Halloween Havoc 1996
10/27/1996
0.70
0.70

250,000
World War 3 1996
11/24/1996
0.55
0.55

200,000
Starrcade 1996
12/29/1996
0.95
0.95

345,000
Souled Out 1997
1/25/1997
0.47
0.47

170,000
Superbrawl VII
2/23/1997
0.75
0.75

275,000
Uncensored 1997
3/16/1997
0.89
0.89

325,000
Spring Stampede 1997
4/6/1997
0.58
0.58

210,000
Slamboree 1997
5/18/1997
0.60
0.60

220,000
Great American Bash 1997
6/15/1997
0.60
0.60

220,000
Bash at the Beach 1997
7/13/1997
0.89
0.89
500,000
325,000
Road Wild 1997
8/8/1997
0.65

240,000
Fall Brawl 1997
9/14/1997
0.53
0.53

195,000
Halloween Havoc 1997
10/26/1997
1.10
1.10

405,000
World War 3 1997
11/23/1997
0.56
0.56

205,000
Starrcade 1997
12/28/1997
1.90
1.80
625,000 to 650,000
700,000
Souled Out 1998
1/24/1998
1.02

380,000
Superbrawl VIII
2/22/1998
1.10
1.10

415,000
Uncensored 1998
3/15/1998
1.10
1.10

415,000
Spring Stampede 1998
4/19/1998
0.72
0.72

275,000
Slamboree 1998
5/17/1998
0.72
0.72

275,000
Great American Bash 1998
6/14/1998
0.75
0.80

290,000
Bash at the Beach 1998
7/12/1998
1.50
600,000
580,000
Road Wild 1998
8/8/1998
0.93
0.95

365,000
Fall Brawl 1998
9/13/1998
0.70
0.70

275,000
Halloween Havoc 1998
10/25/1998
0.78
0.78
500,000
310,000
World War 3 1998
11/22/1998
0.63
0.70

250,000
Starrcade 1998
12/27/1998
1.15
1.15

460,000
Souled Out 1999
1/17/1999
0.78
0.78

330,000
Superbrawl IX
2/21/1999
1.15
1.10

485,000
Uncensored 1999
3/14/1999
0.77
0.73

325,000
Spring Stampede 1999
4/11/1999
0.60
0.60

255,000
Slamboree 1999
5/9/1999
0.45
0.48

195,000
Great American Bash 1999
6/13/1999
0.43
0.43

185,000
Bash at the Beach 1999
7/11/1999
0.40
0.39

175,000
Road Wild 1999
8/14/1999
0.54
0.55

235,000
Fall Brawl 1999
9/12/1999
0.29
0.35

130,000
Halloween Havoc 1999
10/24/1999
0.52
0.52

230,000
Mayhem 1999
11/21/1999
0.45
0.45

200,000
Starrcade 1999
12/19/1999
0.32
0.23

145,000
Souled Out 2000
1/16/2000
0.26
0.25

115,000
Superbrawl X
2/20/2000
0.15
0.15

70,000
Uncensored 2000
3/19/2000
0.13
0.13

60,000
Spring Stampede 2000
4/16/2000
0.25
0.27

115,000
Slamboree 2000
5/7/2000
0.14
0.14

65,000
Great American Bash 2000
6/11/2000
0.19
0.20

85,000
Bash at the Beach 2000
7/9/2000
0.22
0.25

100,000
New Blood Rising
8/13/2000
0.18
0.18

85,000
Fall Brawl 2000
9/17/2000
0.16
0.16

75,000
Halloween Havoc 2000
10/29/2000
0.15
0.15

70,000
Mayhem 2000
11/26/2000
0.12

55,000
Starrcade 2000
12/17/2000
0.11

50,000
Sin
1/14/2001
0.17
0.10

80,000
Superbrawl Revenge
2/19/2001
0.15

70,000
Greed
3/18/2001
0.10

50,000

One thing that has been exceptionally hard to track down is "total number of PPV capable homes" so there is some basis to try and convert a 1.0 buyrate into something meaningful. You can read some of my notes on what I learned last time I tried to do that.

I am incredible grateful to the hard work of everyone who has labored to keep track of these archaic statistics for stat hounds like me. I don't believe that what I published here is correct, but I do think it's in the ballpark of accurate.  I look forward to continuing to learn more so I can refine techniques and learn more about what are the true WCW Buys vs Buyrates.

2 comments:

Mookie said...

http://www.angelfire.com/ia/WCWWWF/ppvbuyrates.html

Another website to check against!

free movies download said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.