EDO TeamApril 4, 20244 min read

Wrestling With the Data: How WWE and AEW Drive Results for TV Advertisers

Though often overlooked as a “live sport,” professional wrestling is one of TV’s most consistent destinations for advertisers looking to reach a large, engaged audience.

World Wrestling Entertainment’s Monday Night Raw is often touted as TV’s longest-running weekly episodic program, and Netflix recently signed a multi-billion-dollar deal to air the show on its streaming service beginning in January 2025.

Meanwhile, challenger brand All Elite Wrestling has successfully established itself as a reliable TV property for Warner Bros. Discovery since its inception in 2019. AEW’s weekly Dynamite show on TBS is frequently the most-watched cable program on Wednesday nights, and it appears poised for a significant increase in media rights fees later this year.

But which wrestling programs are most effective for advertisers? And which brands have had the most success using wrestling to generate the online consumer engagements (such as brand searches and website visits) that are most predictive of future sales?

Ahead of WWE’s WrestleMania XL, which airs on Peacock April 6 and 7, we took a look back at the past year of pro wrestling to get the scoop on how this high-impact programming is (pile)driving results for advertisers.


Upstart AEW shows steady ad effectiveness growth

With a global talent base and an emphasis on athletic, highly physical matches, AEW is the most formidable counterweight to WWE’s stranglehold on U.S. wrestling since World Championship Wrestling went out of business in 2001.

The company has three TV shows airing weekly across TBS and TNT: The flagship Wednesday primetime show Dynamite, the Friday late-night offering Rampage, and Collision, which began broadcasting in June 2023 during Saturday primetime.

In aggregate, ads on these three programs are 12% more likely to generate consumer engagement than the average ad airing on primetime broadcast or cable programming — and ad effectiveness for AEW programming is up 5% year-over-year.

The biggest source of ad impact growth for the company was the late-night Friday show Rampage, which generated 19% more per-person, per-second ad engagement from April 2023 through March 2024 than it had the prior year.

While wrestling programming has historically generated lower-than-usual ad rates due to advertiser perceptions of its audience, AEW’s most effective advertisers include name brands such as Bud Light, Crest, Applebee’s, and Diet Coke.


Here are the top 10 most effective advertisers on AEW programming, among brands with 10 or more airings from April 2023 through March 2024:

  1. Innovation Refunds (+284% more effective than the average AEW advertiser)
  2. Just for Men (+201%)
  3. Pampers (+195%)
  4. Ferrero Rocher (+182%)
  5. Bud Light (+169%)
  6. Crest (+108%)
  7. Miller Lite (+102%)
  8. Schwarzkopf (+97%)
  9. Applebee's (+93%)
  10. Diet Coke (+93%)

The wrestling company’s most effective ad with five or more airings was this spot for Pop-Tarts, which generated 475% more per-person, per-second engagement than the average AEW ad.


Incumbent WWE grows its lead with banner 2023-24

With bright, splashy production and soap operatic storylines, WWE has generated strong ratings and powerful consumer engagement for advertisers across a trio of primetime programs — each of which is moving networks within the next two years.

The flagship program Monday Night Raw will move from USA to Netflix in 2025, Tuesday evening’s NXT will move from USA to The CW in October 2024, and Friday Night Smackdown will return to USA in October 2024. 

The good news for all networks involved is that each of these three programs generates more ad engagement than the average primetime program — and all three are up year-over-year.

The most effective program of the bunch is Monday Night Raw, which was 39% more engaging than the broadcast and cable primetime average during the year we measured — a 21% leap year-over-year. 

Raw also claimed the two most effective WWE broadcasts of the year, with the July 17 and 24 episodes generating 67% and 66% more engagement than the average WWE program, respectively. The two back-to-back episodes came in the lead-up to WWE’s August 5 SummerSlam event on Peacock, headlined by the “Tribal Combat” match between Jey Uso and world champion Roman Reigns.

Like AEW, WWE’s list of top advertisers includes name brands, such as Miller Lite, Mattel, and NyQuil.


Here are the top 10 most effective advertisers on WWE programming, among brands with 10 or more airings from April 2023 through March 2024:

  1. Credible (+2,978% more effective than the average WWE advertiser)
  2. Purple (+490%
  3. Dawn (+224%)
  4. Depend (+215%)
  5. Hot Pockets (+200%)
  6. NyQuil (+194%)
  7. Mattel (+190%)
  8. Puffs (+180%)
  9. Miller Lite (+177%)
  10. Mr. Clean (+177%)

Credit services company Credible claimed each of WWE’s four most effective creatives, among those that aired five times or more. Credible’s top spot was a staggering 7,022% more effective than the average WWE ad.


Put your competitors down for the count with EDO’s syndicated data

It’s not just wrestling — EDO’s syndicated data set empowers TV marketers to see every one of their competitors’ ad airings across the entire TV landscape, as well as how effectively those ads drove engagement.

For more information on how EDO can help you better understand your competitors and optimize your marketing performance, schedule a meeting with us today. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for all the latest TV outcomes insights.


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