CM Punk's debut in WWE backstage took the viewers by a surprise, thereby translating into good viewership for the channel. His presence saw an 80 percent increase in it viewership (from 100,000 to 180,000).
Now, Brad Zager, Fox Sports' executive producer, executive vice president, head of production and operations, has opened up about how the news of CM Punk being roped in for the WWE backstage turned out to be a well-maintained secret. In fact, not many in team was not aware of him attending the show.
"You heard that natural reaction from our control room not believing that this was really happening. We wanted to make this a surprise. We wanted to make this a moment," he is quoted as saying by Bizjournals.
The WWE Backstage is being shot in the same studio as Fox NFL Sunday. "That started with the look and feel of the show — building a wrestling ring on set and creating an environment where these guys can feel natural," he adds.
The team ensured to maintain secrecy over CM Punk's entry after being signed for the show a week before his appearance. During the commercial break, he entered the studio through a side door. "We had to buck the trend and not let it leak," Zager added. "It was the tightest circle of people to ever know about something that we've done," he claims.
According to the article, Fox stuck the deal for five years with the WWE for $205 million per year on average.
Meanwhile, CM Punk's absence from this week's episode, the viewership has fell to 121,000.