Eric Bischoff Looks At Why There Are No More Saturday Morning Wrestling Shows

Why are there no more Saturday morning wrestling shows?

Eric Bischoff looked at this question, as well as his thoughts on working with Vince Russo and more during the latest installment of his “83 Weeks” podcast.

Featured below are some of the highlights from the episode where he touches on these topics with his thoughts.

On whether he would’ve rather never added Thunder or never making Nitro three hours: “Not producing Thunder. Three hours is hard, but it’s manageable. You’re going to get audience fatigue, you’re going to get audience drop off. But you know that going in as a producer, there’s. There’s no way you’re going to be able to hold peak audience attention. Three hours every Monday night, 52 weeks a year. It’s a grind, and it’s very difficult, but it’s manageable as long as you manage your expectations along with it. Thunder was. That was the straw that helped break the camel’s back. It wasn’t the only thing but a big part of it.”

On his best moments working with Vince Russo: “And when you say the best moment, I think. That period of time. When? Vince and I first started working together when I came back to WCW, when we, for better or worse, agreed to do the new Blood Millionaire’s Club thing. There was a period of a couple of weeks where that felt pretty good. The chemistry hadn’t gone bad yet. You know, Vince didn’t reveal himself to be what ultimately he was or whatever. So there was a honeymoon period thereof maybe a couple of weeks or a month that I went, Wow, this could work out. This. This could work. That would have to be it.”

On why he thinks there are no more Saturday morning wrestling shows: “It is a great question. And it was a staple when you were young, primarily because of history. Saturday mornings used to be one of the most other than midnight at 2 to 6 a.m. Saturday mornings were that time slot. Those time slots were available for independent wrestling companies to either barter their show, which means you. You take your one-hour wrestling show. You take it to WTCN or KMSP Channel Nine. I think that’s what it was at the time. It was Channel five. Whatever. You take it to your local television station and say, Look, I’ll give you the hour. You don’t have to pay me anything for it. I just want 2 or 3 minutes worth of advertising time so I can promote my live shows and you can keep the rest to sell used cars or cleaning services or whatever you do locally. That was the barter. And that worked for 80% of the revenue of those independent wrestling territories. Created from their ticket sales and their live events. That was the only thing that they had, Right? And then, as time went on, the television industry changed. Vince McMahon came along. All of a sudden, syndication that independent television barter opportunity became less and less and less and less. At the same time, cable television is now expanding. And as cable television is expanding, niche programming starts to become a thing. Saturday mornings was the kids’ block, and that’s where the money was, which made that time slot more expensive and less available for barter. WWE did some stuff on Saturday morning, and WCW did Saturday morning. The first show I hosted or co-hosted with DDP was, Oh, I can’t remember what it was called anymore. Oh my God, I can’t remember. We’ll come up with it before we leave here. But that show that we did was primarily syndicated in Saturday morning blocks. Occasionally, Sunday morning, but mostly. WCW Pro WCW Pro was the prime or major syndication show. WCW Main event was a secondary syndicated show, and sometimes we’d get both shows in the same market. You know, once at 9:00 in the morning, the others at 11:00 in the morning, that happened. But as that real estate became more and more valuable because of the growth of cable and the. Division of time blocks and the fact that Saturday morning was now the kids’ block. That changed everything. And that was one of the first things that went away was Saturday morning syndication for both WWE and WCW.”

Check out the complete episode of the show at H/T to for transcribing the above quotes.