Eric Bischoff reckons AEW could have a hard time making money in advertising despite the buzz the new promotion has created.
With their first PPV, Double or Nothing, considered to be a huge success, one would think that Tony Khan's company could easily attract advertising. However, Bischoff doesn't see it being that simple and believes that WWE will always have the edge as they're already well established and clients know for sure that they'll be getting their money's worth with Vince McMahon.
“Here’s what I do know. This is not something I feel slightly intimidated about saying. Selling advertising in wrestling is extraordinarily difficult," Bischoff explained on the latest episode of his 83 Weeks podcast (h/t 411Mania). "Because wrestling is not a drama, but it is. It’s not a sitcom, but it is. It’s not a sport, but it is. It’s its own weird, kind of f**king duck, right? And it’s really hard to get big advertisers, mainstream advertisers, the one that spend 80% of the revenue in the ad market. It’s really hard to get them comfortable with professional wrestling, simply because they can’t define it. And it makes it hard.
“Now if a client is inclined to spend their money in advertising in wrestling, where do you think they’re gonna be prone to spend it? In a startup on TNT? Or over here in WWE, where they’ve already got a lot of major clients?
"Somebody else has already crossed that bridge. Somebody else has already proven that it works. Now if you’re a salesman or an advertising executive, who are you gonna try to sell? And that’s what’s gonna make it hard for AEW. It’s not gonna be easy for them to generate money, revenue, in the advertising marketplace and then when they do, they have to split it. So I think that’s gonna be a tough sell.”
The former Raw manager had a bit of advice for the new promotion, though, urging them to strive to be different from WWE and not better.
“In a macro kind of way, [my advice would be] be as different as you could possibly be from the competition. It worked for me, that was my self-mandate when I launched Nitro, is ‘Don’t try to be better than the competition; try to be different from the competition.’ And hopefully being different is enough to make people want to check you out. And I would stick with that. Now different in which way, that requires a lot more thought and kind of a granular approach. And you need to know what your strategy [is].”