We noted last week, via the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, how All Elite Wrestling’s Double Or Nothing pay-per-view was estimated at drawing around 98,000 buys. This number included buys from TV and digital pay-per-view, with close to a 50/50 split between the two platforms. The All In event in 2018 reportedly drew around 55,000 pay-per-view buys.
It was also reported that around 2/3 of the DoN buys came from the United States. The UK came in at a strong second, followed by Australia, Germany and Canada. DoN was set to become the biggest pro wrestling pay-per-view in history, that was not produced by WWE or WCW. The Observer noted that Impact Wrestling/TNA only did half the pay-per-view buys that Double Or Nothing did in its 16 years, and they only did that a few times, and never came close to actually beating the DoN number. To compare with the first event that the AEW crew ran, the All In event from 2018 reportedly drew around 55,000 pay-per-view buys.
In an update based on new data, the Observer reports that Double Or Nothing is now estimated at drawing somewhere between 98,500 and 113,000 pay-per-view buys worldwide. This number now translates to around 71,000 buys in the United States, with almost an exact 50/50 split between standard TV pay-per-view and the B/R Live streaming service. The Observer points to how this is notable because no entertainment provider does a 50/50 split these days. One of the biggest splits for standard TV pay-per-view and online streaming was the UFC 229 pay-per-view in October 2018, which featured Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov, and a split of 80/20 in favor of TV. The splits are usually closer to 85/15. It’s also notable that the split in the UK was closer to 75/25 in favor of TV. The stronger marketing in the UK was on ITV for the ITV Box Office showing, with not much of a push for the online streaming showing. With that said, there was still a solid percentage of fans who did purchase the stream.
The WWE Money In the Bank pay-per-view did around 15,700 standard TV pay-per-view buys, according to the Observer. Most WWE fans watch pay-per-view events on the WWE Network these days, instead of TV due to the much lower price, and because of that it’s probably around 11% of the number of people who would have bought the pay-per-view at regular price, are still buying the events on standard pay-per-view.
Based on the new collection of data, the Observer figures that of the 15,700 WWE Money In the Bank pay-per-view buyers, roughly 397 purchased the AEW Double Or Nothing pay-per-view, give or take very few buys in either direction. It was noted that the 397 number may be off by a few in either direction because a small sample was used – just 2.5%. The percentage itself, based on the read numbers, was considered to be shockingly low.
The Observer noted that people who have seen the pay-per-view data this past week have been amazed. There was a belief that both promotions were drawing from pretty much the same fan base. It was also noted that while there may be a bigger crossover for TV and overall buzz, it’s clear that when it comes to actual buys, the WWE audience and the AEW audience have shockingly little crossover. There were actually way more than 397 homes that shared the purchase, because of various factors surrounding the WWE Network, and it would be 8,000 homes at most, and probably significantly less, according to the Observer.
Regarding WrestleMania 35 and Double Or Nothing, the Observer reports that WrestleMania in North America was down to around 64,100 standard TV pay-per-view buys this year. Of those 64,100 buys, it was estimated that roughly 910 also purchased AEW Double Or Nothing, which translates to 1.4%.
Impact Wrestling’s Homecoming pay-per-view drew around 3,300 standard TV buys and of those, it was estimated that 493 purchased Double Or Nothing, or 14.9%. This shows that there is absolutely a crossover between AEW and Impact pay-per-view audiences. Impact’s Rebellion pay-per-view did around 2,200 standard buys and of those, it was estimated that around 663 bought AEW’s first pay-per-view. That translates to 30.1%, which would be considered shockingly high.
The Observer pointed to how the key point is two-fold – WWE has a unique audience and only a minuscule percentage of that audience is willing to buy another wrestling pay-per-view sight unseen. AEW’s paying TV pay-per-view audience is around 20% compromised of people who will watch a WWE pay-per-view on the WWE Network or regular pay-per-view, and close to half of who will watch WrestleMania. The majority of its audience is either a new audience that has been created through unique means, or lapsed fans who aren’t watching WWE anymore, besides the one big show each year. However, the audience that is still willing to buy a pro wrestling pay-per-view from a new promotion that, that is not watching WWE, is much higher than anyone anticipated. It’s also notable that this success comes with no weekly TV program.
On a related note, as far as streaming goes, the Observer reported the cities that did the best per capita for TV pay-per-view for AEW’s Double Or Nothing did not do the best for streaming. Double Or Nothing did its best numbers in markets that would be expected, such as New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore and Washington, DC, with really strong numbers in Upstate New York.