Friday, February 28, 2014

Hogan's value to WCW PPV

Dave Meltzer, publisher of the Wrestling Observer newsletter, recently posted on the WONF4W message board:
Hogan pre-NWO was hardly a waste of money. PPV business made a ridiculous turnaround from pre-Hogan levels. Every Hogan house show drew tons more than anything WCW was doing without him.
He didn't turn ratings around much, but he was making millions and he drew more than he was making.
To illustrate Dave's point about WCW PPVs, here's WCW attendance & PPV buys/buyrate numbers 1987-2001.

Since readers tend to get grumpy when we talk about "buyrates", I've taken the liberty of converting the buyrates to buys. (I discuss the buys/buyrate issue in my entries on WCW and WWF PPV estimates.)
Keep in mind that the Universe of possible PPV subscribers wasn't static throughout this period, so there are more homes capable of getting a PPV in 1996 than 1991. However, that's one reason that intra-year comparisons are important, and tell a strong story too.

1991: 5 non-Hogan Shows (avg 146k buys)
1992: 6 non-Hogan Shows (avg 111k buys)
1993: 7 non-Hogan Shows (avg 94k buys)

1994: 3 Hogan Shows (avg 189k buys) vs 4 non-Hogan Shows (avg 111k buys) = +69%
1995: 6 Hogan Shows (avg 141k buys) vs 3 non-Hogan Shows (avg 89k buys) = +59%
1996: 7 Hogan Shows (avg 251k buys) vs 3 non-Hogan Shows (avg 175k buys) = +43%
1997: 7 Hogan Shows (avg 348k buys) vs 5 non-Hogan Shows (avg 210k buys) = +66%
1994-1997: 42 Hogan Shows (avg 244k buys) vs 67 non-Hogan Shows (avg 152k buys) = +60%

When Hulk Hogan was wrestling on a WCW PPV, on average, there was an increase of more than 90,000 buys.  With 42 PPV events at $25/PPV (I'd have to go back to find the real PPV price) and the cable company taking half, that's $47M+ in PPV revenue for WCW driven by the Hogan on PPV effect.

Continuing with business comparisons, things are pretty equal in 1998, but honestly the company is hot.

1998: 8 Hogan Shows (avg 365,500 buys) vs 4 non-Hogan Shows (avg 341,250 buys) = +7%
1999: 6 Hogan Shows (avg 276,500 buys) vs 6 non-Hogan Shows (avg 205,000 buys) = +35%

Hogan's impact was minimal in 2000, but keep in mind the company was plummeting. While Hogan was on some these PPVs, he wasn't really the main event.  (Using the helpful spreadsheet from ProWrestlingHistory.) For instance:

* Superbrawl X (Sid/Hall/Jarrett was top; Hogan was wrestling Lex Luger as the "Featured Attraction")
* Slamboree 2000 (Jarrett/DDP&Arquette was top; Singles Match (Special Referee: Eric Bischoff) Kidman vs Hogan)
* GAB2000 (Jarrett/Nash was top; Retirement Match Vs. Title Shot Match (Special Referee: Horace Hogan) Kidman vs Hogan)

Basically, you end up with:
2000: Hogan on Top (80,000 buys avg in 2 shows), Hogan on Card (73,250 avg in 3 shows), no Hogan (80,000 in 7 shows).

So, it seems clear that Hulk Hogan was a real difference maker from 1994-1997.  The company grew strong in 1998 and 1999 but that was on the back of the nWo angle where Hogan played an integral role.

Other relevant WCW Links:

1 comment:

Print Flixq said...

When Hulk Hogan was wrestling on a WCW PPV, on average, there was an increase of more than 90,000 buys.