Last night was the premiere episode of the new WWE Network ESPN-Style debate show, "Bring It To The Table," where JBL and Paul Heyman take on topics around the WWE, many of them controversail. Peter Rosenberg is the host and moderator.
At one point, JBL sounded off on fans with the complaint that, at three hours, Raw is just too long.
“Certain people saying that Raw should be two hours. Okay, first of all, we added the Cruiserweight Division, that’s about four segments, okay? So that covers almost that entire extra hour. But second of all, you’ve gotta understand this: It’s not gonna happen. TV contracts, the three major markets--United States, UK, and India--all run until September to December of 2019. WWE makes $173 million off of television revenue during that time, by far the most out of anything else on the balance sheet, they make about $137 off the (WWE) Network, make about $106 million off of Live Events, the rest of it (other revenue sources) is under $50 million each. So when you have $173 million, that’s the biggest driver of revenue for WWE, and you want to take out one hour, that third hour of Raw brings a huge amount of revenue and also leeway on your balance sheet for WWE to do some incredible things, and I don’t understand why people want to take Raw from three hours to two hours, because they say 'There’s not enough programming to fill those three hours.' I completely disagree.”
Heyman agreed with JBL, saying that "the fans" just like to bitch and moan and complain, but Rosenberg, a fan himself who has openly wished for a return to the Two-Hour Raw on his podcast, did push back a little. "I believe that I would enjoy Raw more if it was two hours ... I do not think they should, of course, knowingly lose money, but as a fan, I would enjoy it more."
Heyman loudly interrupted with "He didn't ask what you would enjoy. He asked if you thought they should cut it from three hours to two hours."
Rosenberg, after some more hemming and hawing, said "Yeah, I want it to be two hours."
JBL presented a sound financial reason why that will not happen, at least not until late 2019, but it's interesting to hear Heyman's perspective that what the fans would "enjoy" shouldn't matter.
You can watch the entire exchange in the video at the top of the page.
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