WWE Smackdown Live’s largest paid advertiser this year is WWE itself, according to a report from TV industry dirt sheet Broadcast & Cable, which lists the show’s top ten advertisers year-to-date for 2017. WWE Network, the subscription-based streaming service offered by WWE itself, comes in at the top spot with $742,418 spent this year, followed by Taco Bell at $618,033 and Verizon at $583,050. Anti-smoking group The Real Cost leads the rest of the pack, which includes Nutrisystem, Universal Pictures (which is owned by the same parent company as the networks that broadcast WWE programming), Dominos, GEICO, Burger King, and Subway. The numbers are interesting considering WWE’s deal with NBC Universal reportedly pays WWE $150 million for its TV broadcast rights, but pro wrestling’s ad rates are notoriously low compared to other programming, and the rights are rumored to be valued more for the prestige they bring in terms of overall network ratings rankings as opposed to the potential for profit from commercials during the show.
The advertising numbers were buried in a larger report about NBC’s plans to start using picture-in-picture commercial breaks in an attempt to retain WWE viewers. A test of the method last year showed 2% ratings retention overall across the board, with ratings up 13% during commercial breaks. The ads will play in large areas of the screen with sound while a smaller, silent video feed of the in-ring action happening during the commercial break will hopefully keep viewers interested enough to be subconsciously indoctrinate with fast food propaganda, or, in the case of the anti-smoking ads, an urge to smoke more.
While the news might seem hopeful to fans who want more in-ring action during their wrestling broadcast and are dismayed to find that most of the best matches are broken up with one or more commercial breaks, the backstage gossip is that WWE will probably also end up filling the picture-in-picture spots with graphics and recaps about what Roman Reigns was doing earlier in the week or plans to do later.
In related news, Bleeding Cool would like to report that Bleeding Cool is officially the largest entertainment website in the world in terms of ad revenue, bringing in ten billion skillion dollars so far this year, with 9.99 billion skillion coming from our top advertiser, Avatar Press.
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