Amid a decline in ratings of its flagship weekly program, Monday Night Raw, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) announced today that it will spur viewership by adding a fourth hour to the show.
“Quite frankly, Raw is just way too short,” said WWE Chairman Vince McMahon during a press conference this morning at WWE’s Connecticut headquarters, referring to the show’s paltry three-hour run-time.
“Our fans, the WWE Universe, are clearly starved for more programming. Quite frankly, it’s what’s best for business, quite frankly.”
According to a WWE press release, the additional hour of Raw will allow time for “more backstage skits, longer show-opening promos by The Authority, and more mid-match commercial breaks.”
The reasons behind Raw’s downward trend in the ratings are not fully understood, though it is believed result from a combination of factors including disruptive technologies, a segmented marketplace, shifting psychosocial demographics among WWE’s core audience, and the fact that Sheamus, of all people, just won the WWE Championship.
Some wrestling pundits suggest that adding more programming is not the solution, since WWE is already over-supplying fans with content on its WWE Network, which features on-demand access to Eddie Guerrero matches and Lita’s bosoms.