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  #1  
Old 06-20-2010, 08:50 PM
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Default What's more important: viewers at home or the live crowd?

I'm in the middle of watching the Fatal Fourway PPV and witnessed, once again, that R-Truth's interactive entrance has been flawed. If all of you hadn't noticed, when he sings along with his music, it seems like his singing always drops off-beat with the music we hear on our television speakers. For those who ever wondered why this happens, the entrance music that is played in live arenas consists of lots of effects and reverb. This causes echoes and delays in the sound traveling throughout the arena. Therefore, when R-Truth sings along, he and the crowd hear the music one way while we hear it differently at home, since our television speakers do not pick up on these live sound effects.

Obviously, more people watch pro-wrestling at home than they do in the arenas. The WWE could easily fix this sound delay problem for the majority of the audience (viewers at home) by having Truth wear an earpiece to the ring as he's singing along, thus keeping perfect time with the at-home viewers. However, the live crowd would suffer and would think he was singing off-beat with the music, just the way we do now. But, since the song is interactive and the crowd sings along, this might confuse them and discourage them from singing with Truth.

It seems that the WWE is caught in a bit of a pickle. But this really got me thinking.

What is more important in pro-wrestling... catering to the live crowd or the fans watching at home?
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  #2  
Old 06-20-2010, 10:43 PM
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Depends on the scenario, D.

In a case like this where the wrestler is looking to get the fans ignited and reacting to something, the most important thing at that moment is exactly that – getting the fans (there) ignited and reacting to what you want them to be, however when dealing with bigger issues like buy rates, advertising, and external income, the most important thing a wrestling company can do is do everything they can not to lose their audience at home as well. Seeing as there are more fans (generally) watching at home than there are at any given live event, it's most important to cater to them, but for most companies the fans watching at home are primarily the same fans watching from the arena – they just don't have the privilege of being on tour the way the performers do, so they deal with watching from home more than they do seeing it live.
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:37 PM
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I think it's all about mixing the things really.

First of all you have the live crowd, the people that WWE will most likely listen to when it comes to seeing who the crowd cheers for, how he gets over, what the crowd reacts to.

I've heard that WWE tests some of their storylines, the results etc. during house-shows through the reaction of the live crowd, so therefore the importance of the live crowd is definitely there, they are also the ones that you see wearing the merchandises, the ones that WWE will then know which sells, while the online buys impact that as well, the fact that fans wear the material to house-shows only does more for it.

On the other hand, there's the home crowd, the people who determine the ratings, if the ratings are low during someone being on the screen, it's obvious that WWE will listen to that as well due to them actually turning off when X person comes on the screen, but on the other hand, they also listen to that through seeing who brings up the ratings.

A good example to that would probably be the whole David Otunga guest-hosting where the overall ratings went down when he was host, as opposed to what type of wrestlers, or what type of guest host that was on the show, which will mean that once again WWE listens to the home viewers.

So I'd say it's a draw, they're both important, and there's really no difference between it, because in the end, they all have their different impacts on the product.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:02 PM
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I'd say they dove-tail nicely into each other. A lively crowd reaction in the arena can make for much more exciting viewing in TV land which, in turn, leads to more chance of tuning in the following week and probably going to a live show as well.

Let's face it, the WWF wasn't the best in the ratings in 97 but the crowd reactions (especially in Canada) to the Harts vs Austin & Company were off the chart amazing and carried that feud as long as it did!
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:08 AM
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When you think about it, it all comes down to the mighty dollar. While people in the crowd buy tickets and merchandise at the event, people watching at home drive up ratings, thus giving advertisers what they want to see and in turn, the WWE more money.
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:35 PM
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More of 50-50. Why? Because WWE's attended live events is to feel the intensity and to feel the pyrotechnics and just witness the extreme action up close and in person. Also there are sometimes when WWE needs a crowd there to boost the momentum of the show. Also to help with their stories. WWE needs the crowd for fan interactions. For an example, the masterlock challenge, they need a crowd for that. And for the viewers at home, that is slightly more important the the people who attend the show. Because WWE is a live promotion generated to be watched on television all across the world. More like you're watching a basketball game. But WWE is wrestling entertainment they have to add a little flavor into it by integrating storylines and other things.
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:24 PM
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Difficult question to answer, but at the end of the day catering to the audience at home is more important.
First off once the audience is at the arena, the WWE doesn't really have to worry about them changing the channel to watch something else, they paid their $60 to be at the arena for a live show therefore they don't have to worry about any competition because the fans are already there, not too many of them will leave mid show even if it is boring. Television fans are the opposite and can choose not to watch the WWE at any time, if the shows boring they can watch Monday Night Football, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, ect. so they have to work harder to keep their television audience intrigued enough to keep their ratings stable.

Secondly its alot easier for the live arena fans to get excited about something just because of the atmosphere just being there is often excitement enough, being there live can make a shitty RAW seem decent, on television its a lot harder to impress the audience (kind of ties into my first point)

Lastly, being at a live show makes it a lot easier to miss things like R-Truth coming out, sure they have monitors and a titan tron, but most people will be focused on R-Truth. You can't tell if he's out of sync with the music unless you are directly looking at the screen, or you are in the first few rows, that account for like 200 people out of 20,000. On TV if he's out of sync the numbers are reversed and its much easier to see that he is in fact out of sync.

You have to cater to both audiences for sure (especially since its easier for the television audience to get excited if the crowd is excited), but at the end of the day what is more important the 20,000 at the arena, or the 4 million viewers watching at home, the more you impress the viewers on TV, the more likely they will spend the extra money to see the show live.

Thats why TNA can never get more than 1000 people at their shows because when they watch it on TV, they may see an interesting product but they do a terrible job of making the audience feel like "They HAVE to be at the arena to see this" (even though I hear TNA house shows are superior to WWE's). In the WWE seeing the Undertakers awesome entrance or even seeing John Cena or HHH is enough reason for people to spend their money, seeing AJ Styles live isn't enough to make your average fan spend money to see TNA live (outside of Kurt Angle what reason is there to go to a TNA live event, the other guys just aren't stars yet).

Not only is the TV audience more important for the reasons I gave earlier, it also establishes the live audience more, making them want to see the show live and be apart of it.
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Old 06-29-2010, 07:44 PM
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I think that if it comes across bad or botched in the arena then it will likely translate live on television. WWE could always edit their programs, but even though they are appealing to the mass audience of viewers at home it is more important to cater to the live crowd. The live crowd watches the show and buys the merchandise and tickets. If you put on a mediocre show live then the fans probably wont tune in. It really doesn't matter if it is a live show or a house show. If a company doesn't put that much effort into their shows for the arena, then the audience will tune out.

I didn't really notice the problem with R-Truth's music. I think its better for wrestlers and the viewers not to sing along with the music. I haven't really noticed a problem with WWE during their shows in the audience or on television. I think WWE are at the top of the game when it comes to production of live shows and Pay Per Views. I haven't seen commercial breaks cut off the program during a match or promo recently. TNA learned the hard way going live trying to squeeze in all their segments to the viewing audience.

The difference between TNA and WWE is that TNA needs to be more focused on the television viewers then the Impact zone since they are minority of fans that see the show every week.
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:57 AM
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The live crowd i think. The reaction of the fans can make or break things. If a crowd is shitting on R-Truth because he is singing out of time then it would reflect to us at home watching. Everything the live crowd does is reflected to us back home. The Lesnar v Goldberg match from Mania 20 is a prime example of this. The crowd were merciless with this and it showed, it made the match in many ways because that it meant it was memorable. Not to mention that the people watching at home are potential live event fans so the WWE should not be looking to demote them to 2nd in terms of importance.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:48 AM
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Although you can say they are equally important, each of them are very strong. Since there are more people watching from home, the 10,000 people in the arena pretty much dictate the cheers and boos. Those cheers and boos weigh heavy on a lot of people's minds as they watch. You have to have the viewer at home though because of the money.. more people = more advertising. High ratings = money.
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