Eric Bischoff On WCW Nitro Expanding To 3 Hours: “I Just Knew It Was The Wrong Move”
The third hour was the beginning of the end
Three hour weekly wrestling broadcasts aren’t massively popular amongst consumers, with WWE Raw’s three hour broadcasts drawing fan ire since they became permanent in 2012.
Before Raw went to three hours, they were beaten to the punch by WCW, when Monday Nitro added a permanent third hour in 1998. However, as heard on the 83 Weeks Podcast, Eric Bischoff was against the idea from the start:
“I fought it tooth and nail,” Bischoff said “I knew, I just knew it was the wrong move. If two hours wasn’t working, going to three wasn’t going to make it work better, that wasn’t the problem. It wasn’t even the reason why we were forced to go for three hours. We weren’t asked, I didn’t get to vote, it wasn’t a democracy, I was told ‘You are now doing three hours.’ That was the end of it, I think it may have come in an email.
“Their solution was we need to improve the bottom line, let’s go to three hours, that will work. Sure, short term it will work, you’ll create more revenue and you’ll kill the product in the process, but I didn’t get to vote.”
It proved a terrible idea, as the third hour was eventually scrapped in 2000 when WCW was disintegrating.
H/T: Wrestling Inc.