Last night I got around to watching the 2011 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony, and while I was fast-forwarding through one of the commercial breaks, something dawned on me.
If the WWE calls WrestleMania the Super Bowl of sports entertainment, why not treat it like the Super Bowl and broadcast it for free on network television?
I know what you're thinking right now: There is no way Vince McMahon would give up all of those pay-per-view dollars to give WrestleMania away for free.
Where PPV has been very good to Vince and vice versa, I believe that broadcasting WrestleMania on network television could be just as, if not more, profitable for Vince and the WWE.
Every year WrestleMania sells out whatever venue it goes to and attendance is normally greater than 70,000.
Then you have PPV buys that are between $55-65 (here in the U.S.), and even with that steep price tag they still average close to a million PPV buys by the fans at home.
That's quite a chunk of change there.
This year's numbers haven't been released yet but I'm willing to bet that with the return of the Rock those buys were probably over a million, and if interest stays for a full year, John Cena vs. the Rock should shatter the record from WrestleMania 23 of 1.25 million buys.
I imagine that WrestleMania 28 is going to be the biggest WrestleMania spectacle since Andre the Giant vs. Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 3.
Now, Vince could go the safe route and rack up record-setting PPV buys or he can roll the dice (like he did with the first WrestleMania) and broadcast this one free of charge on network television (probably NBC).
With the Rock finally returning to the ring, I expect the casual fan and pop culture observers will want to tune in, much like people who don't care about football watch the Super Bowl.
This could be an opportunity for Vince to rake in some serious ad money.
He won't get the same kind of money that the Super Bowl ads bring in, but in a few years time, who knows?
Not to mention broadcasting WrestleMania for free for the whole world to see could bring in a ton of new fans, which would create a lot more merchandise revenue, which is the WWE's bread and butter.
It's a risky avenue for Vince to go down, especially with possibly the biggest match in WrestleMania history, but taking risks like these is what created the WWE and WrestleMania.
For more outside the box thinking and WWE chatter, follow me on Twitter (@jomac006) and watch wrestling, er, sports entertainment.
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