WWE Drops Peoples Elbow On TV Ads

    October 28, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

The advertising/marketing world is in the midst of a giant shift as broadband/IP television becomes a reality. World Wrestling Entertainment becomes the latest illustrator of this shift, as traditional advertisers express concern over the WWE’s driving viewers to its website for continual live coverage of Monday Night Raw during commercial breaks.

Yesterday, a Reuters article relayed the concern media companies and advertisers had about the burgeoning Internet, and how they are ill equipped to deal with the new medium.

“WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell warned on Thursday that many of the world’s leading media companies are on the verge of panic amid the seismic shifts brought on by the Internet. There are major changes and we don’t understand the speed and scale at which they’re taking place,” reports Adam Pasick.

Those major changes and seismic shifts, indeed, are quickening. With the WWE’s new “24/7 product” encouraging viewers to ignore the TV spots and to get an uninterrupted view of the event, those concerns are heightened.

“It devalues the position of the existing advertisers in the program, particularly since wrestling sells itself as having engaged fans,” said Tim Spengler, director of national broadcast for Initiative told TVWeek’s James Hibberd.

“Now you’re talking about telling the most rabid of fans to switch to another platform when advertisers are wanting to talk to them. It sets a dangerous precedent.”

The WWE has no stake in the advertising on the USA network, so unviewed commercials are of little concern to the outfit.

This is a symptom of a greater change. Soon, there will likely be no traditional broadcast or cable networks. As evidenced by dot-com behemoths, things they are a’changin’ as Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL all experiment with offering broadcast-style programming on line.