Speaking during the latest SportsPro Insider Series, the WWE’s chief brand officer revealed that “nearly 40 per cent” of the audience for the company’s core programming is female.
We saw an increase in our female audience in different platforms and different channels. The 40 per cent stayed for our core programming, but Total Divas and Total Bellas, the female viewership went through the roof. On YouTube, on social media, our female viewership increased.
When it comes to women watching the shows, Stephanie believes they want to see more stories:
Women love action, but I think they also really love the stories. They love the characters, they love the drama. Women need a reason to watch, more so than men I think, so the more you can get your female audience engaged in the character and in the story, then they care. They care about who’s going to win, they care about who’s going to lose. It’s really the storytelling that captures people, and I think that’s one of the reasons our female viewership is so high.
She also touched on why they had to retire the term Diva in favor of Superstars:
Times changed and we had to evolve with it. Divas became somewhat of a derogatory term and we needed to make that change within the industry and create that equality. It’s just a word, from Divas to Superstars, but Superstars is what we call our men, so it puts everyone on a level playing field and at every level it’s important to reinforce that.
McMahon also addressed the pay gap between WWE’s male and female performers:
I do [believe that gender equality will be achieved]. We pay based on performance, so if you’re at the main event, if you’re drawing the crowd, that’s when you’re going to be paid the most money because you’re the biggest star.
When you headline WrestleMania, you’re at the top of the game, so that’s where I think we have the most opportunity for our women, is to give them the chance to be at the top. I’m not saying at the expense of the men, but they need to be given the same opportunities.