After becoming a billionaire behind the adult only antics of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, Vince McMahon is looking to take a step back to the days when the WWE was essentially a live action cartoon. While the company made record profits during the Monday Night Wars era, they believe that college age audience has departed for the rougher and edgier UFC. Now, like they did in the 1980's, the WWE is looking in elementary schools for their audience...and finding them.
...the strategy has proven effective. After McMahon toned down the content, he went to his network partners and asked them to reconsider the ratings assigned to the show. WWE's programming, scattered across cable networks USA and SyFy, superstation WGN and broadcast television's MyNetworkTV, was usually given a TV-14 rating, the small-screen version of the MPAA's R-rating and a surefire red flag to parents and advertisers.
The milder programming, which now usually garners a TV-PG rating from WWE's TV partners, has cleared the way for more blue-chip advertisers to come aboard, including Pepsico, AT&T and Procter & Gamble.
"People have misunderstood our product," McMahon said, adding that the ratings change "allowed people to take another look at us, and it has broadened our horizons with sponsors," McMahon said.