WWE decided to go head-to-head with UFC last Saturday night. After being forced to switch venues due to slow ticket sales, WWE was able to put together a very successful Money in the Bank premium live event. The competition with UFC both for ticket sales in Las Vegas and for viewership does not appear to have affected WWE too much.
WWE President Nick Khan has a desire to move big WWE events to Saturdays. UFC pay-per-views typically run on the same night. That means that the two will be going head-to-head quite a bit more in the future.
In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer discussed WWE’s plans to run on Saturday. The company will continue to go up against UFC events, including SummerSlam. Since major WWE events are no longer a significant pay-per-view investment for fans and the revenue from Peacock is guaranteed, they don’t see it as a problem.
“Regarding UFC and WWE going head-to-head, this will happen more frequently because Nick Khan wants to move WWE big shows from Sunday to Saturday, ironically at the same time Tony Khan is moving AEW from Saturday to Sunday (except against the NFL). Since UFC runs almost every Saturday, that will mean more conflicts. On 7/30 for SummerSlam, there will be a UFC PPV head-to-head. I believe there will also be a conflict on 10/8 and also in November.
There was a time that would have been a really bad idea for WWE, as even when they ran on the Sunday after a UFC PPV the numbers were down quite a bit, worse when it was Lesnar or Georges St-Pierre shows. But since people aren’t buying WWE shows and come cheap or free, people will watch at their own convenience and the crossover between audiences seems a lot smaller than 10-15 years ago. If WWE was still relying on PPV itself as its revenue source for these big shows, it would be a terrible idea and they wouldn’t do it.”
In the current era of low-cost streaming, WWE has nothing to lose by going head-to-head with UFC. They’ve already made their money before the bell ever rings. Still, it will be interesting to see how future shows perform and whether WWE loses any of its audience to its MMA counterpart.
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