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Jeff Jarrett Discusses if Ratings Matter Anymore

Posted By James Walsh on 05/13/17


In an interview with The Wrestling Compadres Slamcast, Jeff Jarrett spoke about Impact Wrestlingís India tapings, whether Nielsen ratings matter these days and more. Here are highlights:

On filming Impact in India: ďIt is the first time to my knowledge that a US based wrestling organization is going to India, and are actually producing four episodes that will be seen globally. To my knowledge that is the first time ever that a company has done that. We are very excited. Sony Six is our partner over there. Grey Matter is a production company that we have partnered with and they have done lots of hours throughout India producing lots of programming so we are super excited. The crew is headed over, everyone is super excited. In 2012-2013, we filmed Ring Ka King a few years ago, hugely successful, changing regime prevented season two.Ē

On if Nielsen ratings matter: ďMillion dollar question, it really depends. Nielsen and everybody else, technology is a true metric. To me, itís more of an exact science, which you have one box that covers X amount of homes, whether they watched it or not, but when we get into further and further into the digital age with DVR, YouTube, our website. I was in a meeting this morning and since March 1st our website numbers are up 161% and itís not a maybe or a guess, itís a let me show you so I think we are in a transition period and I think the advertisers from 18-24 months ago have now really taken a hard look and said, okay, this isnít hypothetical, this is real and we are in a process to combine everything, because linear is one sabermetrics, digital is another, plus the social media stuff, which can really put things into a tailspin and you say, okay Iím going to send out a message and this stuff is going to get out, whether you Tweet it and then it gets picked up with all the talent, with other sites and all that, so itís not an easy thing to wrap your head around and simply goes above my pay rate but itís something that in the media, like I said, 18-24 months ago didnít want to pay attention to but now they have to.Ē

On if Impact Wrestling is looking at other distribution outlets: ďThe Library is over 4,000 hours now since we are heading into our 15th year. The Library is one thing but our current product is something else, and when you have your Pop TV, Sony 6 in the UK, Total in Israel and now Hulu Live, itís such a hot spot, itís hard to keep track of, but the world is gravitating towards that way and obviously. I have 5 kids, 10-20. My 20-year-old was raised on Disney Channel, my 10-year-olds, itís all YouTube or Netflix, Streaming, itís all OnDemand now, no more channel surfing. Those days are completely gone. The old guard that is in Hollywood, like I said, 24 months ago they would have shaken their heads at you, but now IĒm not sure, those days are gone. They totally realize that everything is OnDemand. When they look at our +3 and +7 numbers, wrestling is a live event, and itís an event program, but when you look at our +3 and +7 numbers thereís an enormous section that has a set and comes on Thursday nights, whether they read the spoilers or not, theyíll still watch it on Thursday Evening and Friday Afternoon, they watch it on the weekend, but when you see the +3 and +7, Iím not that kind of guy. If I canít at least watch it within 24 hours Iím not sure that I go back and watch it unless itís my industry. Obviously, Iím a wrestling fan first and foremost long before I was a Promoter, with Raw and SmackDown both being live, and Ring of Honor, you watch all of that, but you want to feel that emotion when it is truly happening. The further and further you get away from it the less connection you have. For me, Iím biased because I am in the business, but it doesnít mean I wonít watch a program that is 4-5 days old.Ē

On the digital world: ďI was a Consultant through the month of January and left TNA as it was called December 2013 and started Global Force Wrestling and one step after another it all came together. Me and my team we have a vision and we truly believe that we live through the YouTube generation which is a great thing. So, getting on board and looking at the content, in 2016 I truly believe Impact, the roster was fantastic with a lot of unique and great things going on. You canít depend on using this or Monday Nights 7-10 or Thursday Nights from 8-10, you canít rely on just that window, you have to chop it up, put it out. Instagram is 30 seconds, Twitter is 45 seconds, YouTube is 3-4 minutes, you look at all those metrics and say, okay, the average viewer will consume 2 minutes nd 22 seconds. When you chop up for YouTube, be on the ballpark and sure enough, the numbers have exploded. I am part of a team that wants to continue to feed the US, Mexico, UK, India, Australia numbers. Weíre not in Australia yet, we have lost that market. The Australia fans are there but they couldnít get it, but now we are feeding them 20, 30, 40 videos a week and now they can really follow this product along with the other Social Media outlets that we have, they can feel connected again to the Impact Army. Weíre trying to always do that. I have a call with a group in Israel, everyone is begging for digital content. That is something that we sort of laid the groundwork for. SuperSport in South Africa. South Africa numbers exploded and we have been on there for 10 years, but itís always been: Impact, Xplosion, Pay Per Views and all that, but we delivered and there was no connectivity, but now with Social Media, they can feel the product.Ē