Capitol Wrestling Is Partnering With Twitch. Here’s Why…

On the eve of our 2017 year-ending World War IV event in Hoboken, New Jersey on December 29th, Capitol Wrestling proudly announces an official streaming broadcast partnership with Twitch. Why? Well, because society is at a point where pro wrestling is no longer the whole-to-part leader in broadcast entertainment. Some may find pro wrestling sharing a part-to-whole space with numerous other entertainment options as a reason to be filled with dread. However, Capitol’s first-run streaming, content-driven, and alt-culture adjacent business and development model is specifically built for a future where 40% percent of all Americans are socially conscious, social, streaming-favoring, and definitely are gaming-first when it comes to their entertainment options. In ideally being the most engaging part of the space that pro wrestling absolutely holds in the new part-to-whole model of wrestling-as-entertainment, we’re incredibly excited about where this all heads.

How did we evolve from a space where pro wrestling went from “the recognized industry leader in sports and entertainment” to being a piece of a gaming-defined broadcast universe? Here’s some data and extrapolation to consider.

Unlike professional wrestling, the gaming industry has embraced vertical integration and up-sold every aspect of itself. As well, when the gaming industry maxed out its economic growth, gaming then removed said ceiling by embracing global connectivity, thus removing barriers to access and success.

By comparison, pro wrestling, has always been a territorial, and thus intentionally limited, business. For almost a century, this was entirely okay. Promoters rarely ever co-promoted and also oftentimes created a situation in which they forced — via aggressive branding campaigns and sometimes predatory business practices — fans to choose to spend their dollars on not just the industry in full, but on one specific product over another specific product.

However, competitive territorial businesses practices do not work when economic marketplaces able to sustain their growth do not exist. Between 2008–2012, America endured a Great Recession that began with the country’s $8 trillion housing industry caving in upon itself, with the resulting loss of wealth creating sharp cutbacks in consumer spending nationwide. This dovetailed with the expansion of internet use spiking nine percent overall in the United States, with nearly 100% of Americans aged 18–49 using the world wide web. The gap between real-time marketplace engagement and online marketplace development arguably became such that it necessitated a change in how products engaged with people. Instead of top-down, long, narrow, and monolithic engagement, the marketplace instead called for widespread, globalized, and deep engagement methods. Pro wrestling has been slow on the trigger in making this happen, and ultimately may have had its locus of control usurped by gaming.

The rise of the gaming industry teaches not just pro wrestling, but industrialization as a whole that successful businesses need not be solely personality driven enterprises anymore. Personalities are a part of, but not wholly defining aspects of industries. Instead, personalities have become consumed by the industry, and industries consumed by globalized human communities themselves. The user is as important as the star, and a symbiotic, eye-to-eye, and user-to-star relationship is ultimately important.

We’ve seen this engagement-as-industry unto itself grow in gaming from the age of sending Mario down the drain to living with the Sims, to the now real-time and geo-locational craze that Pokemon Go became. Now, via Twitch, we see an era developing wherein all three of these evolutions interact and we create a plug-and-play super-universe of sorts where gaming defines industry, marketplace, social hub, plus source of relational connection between people, places and things. What ultimately develops is a bizarre, yet entirely real second-to-third dimensional uber-relationship.

Capitol Wrestling desires to be the cool wrestling show that exists as part of how Twitch leads where the world is likely to head in full.

If thinking that the existing pro wrestling as streaming content marketplace is already overcrowded and over-disrupted, you’re right. But then again, EVERY marketplace is overcrowded as we currently exist in the “#transformativeage,” where, as Ernst and Young Consulting notes, “fundamental changes in business models and the industries in which they sit…is not disruption….[it] is transformation.” Thus, for the industry of pro wrestling, it is necessary to engage with the shift from entirely silo-ed content with restricted access to a more democratizing broadcast content era and from antenna to cable to streaming broadcasting by best working with brands like Twitch.

In a democratized space, being on a portal that JUST does wrestling for wrestling fans is smart. A captured and captive audience is wonderful. However, for Capitol, we view wrestling as something for everyone, and actively wanted to feature our content on a portal with the largest captured and captive audience possible. Twitch has 2.2 million streamers, who, in 2016 watched 221 hours of content. As well, Twitch is owned by Amazon.com, which allows our merchandise onto that portal, which opens our eyes to, if we’re just counting Amazon Prime-subscribed portal users alone, 80 million people.

Compare those totals to say, the WWE Network, which has two million subscribers, who, if we’re averaging “new” content, have available roughly 300 hours of content to watch a year. As well, it can be extrapolated that a number equaling every US citizen (325 million) could feasibly, even if briefly, watch WWE’s cable broadcasts on the USA Network alone.

For a 321 day-old company (Capitol Wrestling) broadcasting on a six-year old streaming platform, these are fantastic comparative odds upon which to build a partnership with unlimited growth potential.

Insofar as how the economics of all of this play into the conversation it provides a wonderful place for future prognostication and editorial conclusion. We’re looking at a world wherein gaming industry giants Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have a combined worth of $600 billion dollars. We also realize that the character franchise surrounding Mario is worth $25 billion and that Pokemon is worth $15 billion, too. Trickle that down even further to the fact that Amazon purchased Twitch for $1 billion in 2014. Comparatively, the pro wrestling industry leader WWE is worth $1.5 billion, and it’s rumored that The Rock (aka likely still the one person that mainstream people still associate strongest with WWE) is worth $220 million. Clearly, when comparing the data presented to the thinking presented above, the numbers don’t lie.

Pikachu is undeniably laying the smackdown on The Rock’s candy ass.

Wrestling as an industry must reflect this and adjust accordingly.

Capitol Wrestling will take the lead in doing so.

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Marcus K. Dowling

Marcus K. Dowling

Creator. Curator. Innovator. Iconoclast.