It’s been recently learned that on all cable systems the price tag for Wrestlemania 29 will go up $5. This means of course that if you want to buy “The Granddaddy of Them All” this year, you’ll be spending $60 for the standard definition and depending on your provider, $70 on the High Definition version.
My question is how high is too high? Sixty dollars in this day and age is lot of money and given the amount of content that WWE produces for free why would people pay that much?
Let’s face it, the storyline build for this year’s Wrestlemania is probably one of the weakest in recent memory with heavy reliance on older names and nostalgia to carry them through once again. There’s nothing really that special that at least in my opinion that is worth that premium of a price. I think what is most egregious is the nickel and diming once again of the younger audience and the hardcore fan base without adding any more value.
And that’s the key word here… Value. How much do they truly value their fan base? Obviously not too much considering they keep degrading quality of the shows making television all the more important over pay-per-view. I understand that you have to go where the money is in right now’s television, I’m not foolish. I know this is a business strategy to curb lowering pay-per-view buys as they’ve done it for the last 5 years. However , when WWE management has said the pay-per-view is dying a slow and painful death in the US, why give it a morphine drip? Maybe this is a preemptive move considering the plans of the WWE network to move all pay-per-views except for Wrestlemania over for subscribers. I’m not sure.
If the WWE is not careful though and keeps on this slippery slope they may play right into the hands of TNA (Total Nonstop Action Wrestling/Impact Wrestling ) who themselves just went through pay-per-view restructuring and ROH (Ring of Honor) whose Internet pay-per-views have a better value proposition in regards to the in ring action for the low low price of $15. This goes without mentioning the countless independent promotions that are now running Internet pay-per-views on a frequent basis at much more discounted rates.
When it comes down to it in the current media marketplace you want to survive you have to worry about two main things . Ease and availability.
They without a doubt have the market cornered on availability on different platforms. Tablets, phones, the Xbox 360 for the first time this year along with Samsung internet-enabled televisions can carry the pay-per-view broadcast of Wrestlemania 29. The question is will they ever ease the woes of the consumer by lowering the price for your average fan who wants to see the show legally? All this will really increase is not your bottom line but piracy of the event.
Will they listen? Probably not. The only way they will listen is if fans stop buying the pay-per-views which includes streaming them downloading them illegally and not mentioning them on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. I think then and only then will the fans voice actually be heard. Will this happen ? Probably not. Let’s face it… Fans will complain until the blue in the face about how bad things are, but they will still most times go back to Vince McMahon’s product out of sheer routine and habit.
The Hall of Famer The Million-Dollar Man Ted DiBiase once said “Everyone has a price and everyone’s going to pay”. But in today’s economy WWE Wrestlemania 29 has finally reached my credit limit.
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This article was first posted on March 25, 2013