AEW President Tony Khan recently spoke with PWIInsider about the importance of ratings. It is something that is often brought up by fans online. However, he admitted that it is something he looks into each week, adding that the TBS move has helped/
“Well, I think it’s all context and I look at the overall rating,” he said. “But also look at the ratings for the individual segments and the quarter hours and then put it in context year over year. As you said, we’ve had a really strong year so far for Dynamite and Rampage. Rampage recently has done some of the best numbers we’ve had since October and for Dynamite This year, we’re up over 30% so far in 2022 versus 2021. Some of that has been the move to TBS and the great lead-ins, which has worked out really well for us. And a lot of it has been that the roster is stronger. And there are more great names on the roster than there were at this time last year.
“So the ratings are much higher than they were when we started 2021. And that’s something I’d like to keep up and a trend we’d like to keep continuing. So I think this is a week where you have to make it a must-watch show, and this is a week where hopefully with surprises and the positive word of mouth about last week’s show. The really great match that Punk and MJF had, the great segment was Danielson and Moxley or even coming off Rampages.”
Tony Khan then ran down the most recent episode of AEW Rampage, discussing why he had a DQ take place. It was the first one in the history of the show, but it is something he believed furthered the story.
“It was great wrestling on Rampage. Sammy vs Isiah was tremendous, and Stark versus Jay Lethal was a great main event. Mercedes Martinez vs Thunder Rosa was an excellent match with a DQ, and that never happens in AEW, almost. And it’s only just a second DQ ever on AEW TV in over 150 episodes, about 150 episodes between Dynamite and Rampage. And it was the first one ever on Rampage,” Tony Khan noted. “So we’ve never done a DQ on Rampage. But this one furthered a story and I didn’t show it to the live audience at the time. Because I wanted to say something very special. And the live audience, a lot of them are going to be part of the TV audience on Friday night.
“So the TV audience saw something that I wanted to show people for months and had been holding back and I was really glad that it was so positively received. There was, on Rampage, a very positive reception to the backstage promo following up on Mercedes Martinez vs Thunder Rosa. And the end of that match where Britt Baker came in, and where we learned that Britt Baker was the one who paid Mercedes in the first place to come into AEW. It makes a ton of sense. And it’s always been the plan, but we had never revealed it.
“Now it puts a new focus on the rivalry between Thunder Rosa and Mercedes. And it’s a new twist on a long-standing story with Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker and it’s another twist on the road to Revolution. So that was another moment that I think fans really enjoyed. So there’s a lot of really positive word of mouth about a lot of things happening in AEW and I think with now a big surprise coming and as the show is built towards Revolutionwhich has always been a great pay-per-view event for us and I think we’re going to have a pay-per-view Revolution this year. Just a great time for us.”
Tony Khan then explained that he does care about the weekly numbers. He believes this is important when it comes to booking the next show, learning from what was done before. The AEW President also pointed out that the show is up from last year.
“So looking at the ratings, absolutely, in my position, in our position, you really do care what the number is each week. But it’s also important to look at what drew, within the show,” he stated. “What segments did well and then when you’re planning the next week show, you look at that at. I definitely learned a lot and I try to do that every week. And hopefully, make a more informed decision on scheduling the show and putting the formats together.
“As I said, for the show to be up over 30% where we were last year, it’s pretty awesome. And it bodies really well for us. And I think we can keep that momentum going. So from talking to TNT and TBS executives several times a week about these numbers for the different shows, for Dynamite and Rampagethe different demographics, they spend a ton of time studying it and have given us a lot of really positive feedback about our growth, particularly in the young audience where we’ve got huge growth year over year.”
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