November 21, 2013
Hey, Ladies - WWE's Growing Female Audience
By Kaylee Hultgren
Did you know that nearly 40% of WWE’s audience is female? A little something we learned from the company's evp, creative Stephanie McMahon at CableFAX’s Most Powerful Women in Cable event Thurs morning in NYC. During a Q&A, the exec said increased popularity with the ladies is in part due to its strategic move to PG-rated content. It didn’t lose any fans from the move, and even gained some. Another reason WWE is more amenable to females: “We’re story-based,” and that kind of content attracts a female audience, she said.
Speaking of girls… Inquiring minds want to know: What’s it like growing up as Vince McMahon’s daughter? One of the most important lessons she learned from her father: “As long as I could look in the mirror and look myself in the eye and know that I was a good person,” that’s all that matters. Back to WWE…“Our company is on the verge of doubling or tripling its size,” she told the crowd. With the annual PPV event WrestleMania, popular programs like the live Monday Night Raw and SmackDown—the value of which will be the topic of upcoming programming negotiations, she intimated—and WWE’s network launch, the company is poised for huge growth, she said.
On how WWE is perceived, McMahon said her goal is to “educate the market that we are entertainment…We’re never going to have a bad bout” or a boring match-up, and that adds value. It's also family-friendly, she added. Interestingly, more than 40% of people who come to live WWE shows are families.
On her mentors, McMahon pointed to her mom (literally… she was in the audience), calling her “a leader and a pioneer.” With her as an example, “it never occurred to me that women wouldn’t be leaders,” McMahon said, choking back tears. She thanked Bonnie Hammer as well, whose mentorship taught her “the importance of giving back and reaching back” to others—something McMahon vowed to continue herself in the future at WWE.