The Hollywood Reporter is featuring an interview with WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, where he discusses RAW, WWE’s presence on television, social media, and even takes a jab at UFC. Here are the highlights of the interview:
When asked about having any concerns about leaving the USA Network for TNN/Spike TV several years ago: “We became the number 1 show on USA and they wouldn’t be number 1 right now in primetime if not for RAW. We switched one time to what become the Spike network and became the number 1 show there. We have shown that we have [proven] that we can pretty much make TV networks.”
About WWE’s involvement with social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tout, etc.): “Back in the early days, our performers elicited a response, a boo or a cheer. Today, we use all this social media. We are going to do Tout, in which the WWE just invested. With that [Tout], you get a fifteen-second video shout-out that goes straight to our TV programs. Beginning with the 1,000th [episode of RAW], people can participate in terms of the types of matches and what actually happens on-air. It will be the most interactive TV programming in the world.”
What makes WWE stars the perfect fit to be Hollywood stars: “Our talent is taught not to be prima donnas, to be on time, and know their lines. Quite frankly, people in Hollywood, once they see what we do, they are amazed. Our talent doesn’t demand the biggest trailer or a certain amount of grape juice or whatever the hell it is. Our talent is extremely flexible and [they know] how to act, so it’s a logical extension for them.”
Comparing WWE to UFC: “We’re in show business, they are a sport. Their ratings are abysmal. They are in the pay-per-view business and they do reasonably well there. We just set a record for WrestleMania. We had 1.3 million buys for this year’s WrestleMania and our pay-per-view numbers have been up 30% since then, so we are looking pretty good.”
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