The numbers are in and Last night’s Raw scored hours of 3.27 and 3.34, for a 3.31 cable rating, with an average of 5.2 million viewers (thanks Gerweck.net), up from 3.0 last week. Reviews on Monday’s Raw are generally more positive for the quality of the show and collectively negative on the Givaway Segments.
Vince McMahon has announced another week of Mania, promising to give away money throughout the Draft. Expect the ratings to be stronger next week because of the Draft, not the million dollar givaway.
So, what value does McMahon’s Million Dollar Mania have for WWE? Does McMahon just enjoy tormenting the die hard fans who just want more wrestling and less cheese? Maybe, the cost of this givaway for the return for WWE isn’t that bad. A thiry second spot for the superbowl was 2.6 million dollars last year. We wouldn’t remember a WWE ad at the superbowl past the next ad. A million fans registered on WWE.com before the contest even started. WWE.com’s main page now features the WWE Fan Nation (we think to encourage fans who registered for the Mania to register for Fan Nation). One of the strengths of the internet is the ability to create one on one relationships with customers. If part of WWE’s new marketing approach is use Fan Nation blogs to help shape their product, then this promotion actually makes sense.
There doesn’t seem to be an good argument that explains how McMahon’s Million Dollar Mania is going to bring new fans to wrestling. Since Vince has sold this sweepstake as a way to thank the fans who already watch WWE, maybe it never was about new fans. Maybe this isn’t the ill-considered ‘quick’ fix we shuddered to think it was.
That being said, we can’t wait until it’s over.