During WWE's quarterly conference call for investors, Vince McMahon was asked about how he feels the brand extension has gone so far.
Needless to say, he was pleased.
"Well, as far as the brand extension is concerned it’s working extremely well, that’s working exactly like we thought it would," McMahon began. "If you would like the product on RAW, you are more likely to watch a product on SmackDown; there is some crossover and which is what we wanted."
"At the same time," McMahon added, "we are building new viewers coming in. We are introducing new viewers (through) SmackDown. And that just in and of itself is what we are trying to do as well and are doing and more viewers come to SmackDown, then more viewers elect to watch RAW as well. So it’s a big wheel keeps on turning."
As that big wheel rolls on, it's presumably going to lead to superstars jumping from brand to brand. So far, the only wrestler to be drafted to one show and eventually wind up on another is Jack Swagger, whose contract with Raw expired, and was signed as a free agent by SmackDown back in September. And he's barely been seen on the blue brand since. But you can expect more of that in the future, apparently, and with much more high profile superstars. According to McMahon the plane is to have "fresh talent coming from one brand to the next." And of course, the example that came to Vince's mind is Roman Reigns. "If you haven’t seen a Roman Reigns on SmackDown, then ... if and when he does come to SmackDown, then that’s really a big thing. So it freshens up talent and gives us a much longer range in terms of the use of those talents and the IP (intellectual property) that goes with them."
Vince also said the brand split mean there's "more room for more talent to be able to rise to the top. If you have ... two shows with the same talent, it’s difficult to create new stars because the tendency is just to keep the new larger talent on top all the time. So it allows other stars to be able to climb the ladder of success. So it allows us a lot more flexibility as far as the brand growth is concerned. And of course the other aspect of that is that SmackDown is now a live television show, television ratings for the SmackDown have been extraordinarily good, much better than previous years. RAW rating continues to decline somewhat, much like the NFL ratings."
Vince also cited the fact that they can program twice as many Live Events, with double the ticket sales and double the on-site merchandise sales. Vince also hinted at touring each brand separately. "If it was just one show--both RAW and SmackDown--you are limited to your international touring for argument sake. And we can have the SmackDown tour in December and a RAW tour three weeks later or the next month."
As the brand split approaches its one year anniversary, we shall have to see what, if any, modifications are made to the current plans. But, according to Vince himself, we can't be surprised if Roman Reigns ends up on Smackdown and blue brand is in Australia while the red brand is in the UK.
You can read the entire transcript at SeekingAlpha.
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