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November 3, 2015

How NBCU and WWE Are Working Together to Woo Advertisers, More on SmackDown - USA Network

Adage.com has an article about how WWE and NBC Universal have spent the past few months trying to change the image of the company in the eyes of advertisers as the USA Network prepares to bring on WWE SmackDown in 2016, upping their annual WWE content to 263 hours. This effort has led to 37 new advertisers agreeing to run commercials on WWE TV on USA.

NBC Universal's Vice President of Advertising Sales, Dan Lovinger commented:

"In the past, WWE wasn't associated with being family-friendly. We had to redefine what it is to both advertisers and consumers."

NBC Universal began to get aggressive in their pitch to ad agencies and clients at their upfront event back in the summer. Snapple tapped WWE personalities such as Triple H and Stephanie McMahon for a commercial in April, while Paramount promoted "Terminator: Genisys" with a WWE integration that included Triple H making a grand entrance during "WrestleMania" using imagery from the movie.

While WWE is an "easier sell" now, there is still an issue with the low ratings and some advertisers are still shying away from the product due to the content.

The article also notes that SmackDown will serve as USA's lead-in to new original series. Colony will be the first to premiere in January and then USA will debut a new series in the 10pm time-slot each quarter. The first presenting sponsor for SmackDown on USA will be the movie Hateful Eight, the next Quentin Tarantino movie that comes out on Christmas.

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