|>> || |
> NBC Universal announced that Smackdown will be trying out a picture-in-picture approach during the commercials for Smackdown. This has been tried before with other sports and wrestling in the past. The idea in theory is that people won’t speed through commercials on DVR or change channels. During the commercial periods on Smackdown, the sound will be of the commercial but there will be a part of the picture showing the action going on in the arena. This is expected to debut in late May or early June. They are also planning this for the 2018 Olympics. They did this on a couple of Smackdown shows in 2016 and it was successful in that ratings during the commercial breaks were 13 percent higher and led to a two percent overall increase in ratings of those episodes. They said that test marketing showed that the ads were 42 percent more memorable than under normal circumstances as people continued to watch more closely. This is already regularly done with auto races.
> Speaking of Smackdown, Broadcasting Cable had a list of the ten companies that spent the most money from January through last week in advertising on Smackdown as: 1) WWE Network $742,418; 2) Taco Bell $618,033; 3) Verizon $583,050; 4) The Real Cost $559,728; 4) NutriSystems $559,728; 6) Universal Pictures $536,406; 7) Domino’s $513,084; 8) Geico $443,118; 9) Burger King $396, 474; 9) Subway $396, 474. Considering USA Network would have paid about $21 million for the rights to Smackdown and the revenue from the leading advertisers was $5,348,513, it shows a big gap between the two numbers. Overall, that would under normal TV standards be considered shockingly low advertising revenue given the amount of viewers Smackdown draws.
> Lesnar’s bookings related to his 7/9 PPV show in Dallas will be a Raw return on 6/12 in Lafayette, LA, then 6/26 in Los Angeles, 7/3 in Phoenix for the go-home show and 7/10 in Houston he’ll appear on the day after.
> Former or current WWE stars had lead roles in three of the top 15 movies domestically this past weekend. “Guardians of the Galaxy 2" with Dave Bautista as one of the leads (and he got strong reviews, I thought his low-key humor was very good and he stole many scenes), was No. 1 for the second week, grossing $65,263,492 for a two weekend total of $248,420,911. It has now grossed $632.3 million worldwide. “Fate of the Furious,” with Johnson, was No. 4 at $5,400,845 and is at $215,134,775 in five weeks. So Guardians is already ahead of it for domestic gross. But Fate of the Furious was much stronger outside the U.S., and has done $1,193,237,884 worldwide as of 5/15, putting it as the 12th largest grossing movie worldwide in history. “The Wall,” with Cena as one of the lead characters, had a more limited opening doing $898,013 in 541 screens in its first weekend out, putting it in 15th place when it comes to total gross revenue and 23rd place when it comes to average revenue per screen.
> Jerry McDevitt, in a filing to get a summary judgment to get what is left of the Evan Singleton, Russ McCullough and Vito LoGrasso concussion-related lawsuits thrown out, largely based on contradicting the claims the plaintiffs lawyers wrote in the filed lawsuit, also listed regarding the idea that concussions and CTE are related wrote, “Reports of such a link remain uncertain and conflicted. Notably, the Consensus Statement from the 5th International Conference on Concussion in Sport published on April 26, 2017 states: “(a) cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been demonstrated between CTE and (sports related concussions) or exposure to contact sports. As such, the notion that repeated concussion or subconcussive impacts cause CTE remains unknown.”
> Judge Vanessa Bryant, who is presiding over the bigger case where the dozens of wrestlers including Paul Orndorff and Joe Laurinaitis were suing over the concussion issue, ordered the attorneys on both sides to meet with their clients and each other to discuss a settlement offer.
> WWE and Psyonic announced a partnership leading to the heavy push of Rocket League on all WWE platforms. Rocket League will be the lead sponsor of Backlash this week. as well as Great Balls of Fire and SummerSlam. Rocket League is an arcade style soccer crossed with vehicular mayhem type game.
> Adam “Flex” Maxted, 25,a model/bodybuilder reality show star in the U.K. from the TV show “Love Island,” a dating show on ITV 2, was among the names trying out this past week in London. A former stripper, he has wrestled on the U.K. indie scene previously and once wrestled Drew McIntyre.
> Cena is advertised for the 7/3 Smackdown TV tapings in Phoenix. He’s not advertised on the WWE website but a ticket e-mailer listed him for that show.
> I don’t know that the odds are necessarily good of anything happening from this, but there are still open lines of communication involving bringing Mauro Ranallo back. There’s a lot of water under the bridge. Even though they reached their agreement on his contract where he’s being paid until the end of the deal on 8/12 either way, there clearly is still heat since John Layfield is still blocking anyone who praises Ranallo’s announcing. He was blocking people like crazy a few weeks ago after the Joshua vs. Klitschko fight with people praising Ranallo’s commentary.
> Although at one point he was announced when ticket sales were slow, to pick up sales, Nakamura will not be going on the early June NXT U.K. tour. They had pulled him from all the promotion of the tour a couple of weeks ago.
> Aleister Black was used on the Raw European tour because he’s the only wrestler on the roster from Holland and they had a show in Rotterdam. He appeared on Main Event since he was traveling with the group and they didn’t want to put him on Raw. Being on Main Event wasn’t a sign a call-up is imminent. He mostly worked three-ways with Neville and Aries and got great reports. With his current NXT presentation, one would think he’d be a big star on the main roster, but after American Alpha and Zayn, I don’t think you can ever assume anyone for sure.
> WWE signed a TV deal in Turkey with Saran Media. They announced a multi-year deal to air edited versions of Raw and Smackdown on S-Sport. The deal started on 5/13 with S-Sport airing Raw, edited into two hours, at midnight every Saturday night, and would then air Smackdown immediately after, edited to one hour, at 2 a.m.
> The secondary market for Chicago isn’t that strong right now as price of entry for the 5/21 Backlash PPV is $56 and for NXT Takeover it’s $39.
> Some upcoming DVD releases are Seth Rollins on 5/30, Kevin Owens on 7/4, Kurt Angle on 8/1, WWE Unreleased 1985-95 of best matches not previously released on 9/5, A WWE 1997 DVD called Dawn of the Attitude Era on 10/3, and an NXT documentary called “From Secret to Success” on 12/5.
> The top ten most-watched shows on the network this past week were: 1. WWE 24 Finn Balor; 2. NXT from 5/10; 3. Payback; 4. WrestleMania 33; 5. Bring it to the Table; 6. Backlash 2016; 7. Talking Smack from 5/9; 8. 205 Live from 5/9; 9. Table for 3 with Edge, Christian and Angle; 10. NXT from 5/3.