Eric Bischoff On Ratings Not Equaling Direct Success, Why It’s Unfair To Compare Monday & Wednesday ‘Wars’
Eric Bischoff says there might be another war in wrestling right now, but the television landscape has changed so much where it’s not really fair to compare it to WCW vs. WWE.
Bischoff spoke about how televised wrestling has changed during his media scrum at Starrcast this past weekend and he was asked if there was anything in NXT or AEW that he would have liked to have done in WCW. Bischoff said other than a few similarities, he didn’t think it was a fair comparison to make and explained how television viewing habits have changed.
“I don’t think it’s a fair comparison. I don’t mean to sound disrespectful to either, but it’s kind of hard to compare the Monday Night Wars to the Wednesday Night Wars to anybody. The only real connective tissue I can see [with WCW to AEW] is that WCW and AEW both aired on TNT. I think the presentation, goals and wrestling style is quite a bit different. Times have changed. WCW on TNT was 20 years ago, and things have changed so dramatically. Other than a few small similarities, it’s not a fair comparison.”
Bischoff also spoke about how networks’ views on ratings have changed over the years, noting that AEW and NXT both pulled in good numbers last week with each checking in with more than 800,000 viewers each. He says there’s a tendency for people to want to make the comparison, but television was a completely different property twenty years ago.
“We all have a tendency to make comparisons back to the Monday Night Wars. It was a different time, it was a different industry. Television was a different property back then. I think with all the way that people have to engage with their favorite entertainment, it is really having an effect on traditional television,” Bischoff said, “and I don’t think you can look at ratings to try to make an evaluation on the success of a product.”
“For example, both AEW and NXT were in the 800,000 viewers category this past week. That’s TNA numbers five years ago, which was considered abysmal. In today’s environment, those same numbers strong in 18-49-year-old demographics,” Bischoff noted, “they’re somewhat attractive to a television network. Five years ago, they would have pulled the plug on you in three minutes.”