Views From The Turnbuckle: Is PG A Problem?
Another big factor is just how much the television market has changed over the last 12-15 years. In the late 1990s, the WWE had a very exclusive market on things that were considered tasteless by most other cable brands, such as advertising sex and incredible amounts of violence. TV was just different back then, and the WWE and pro wrestling was one of the few places where you could find that kind of content. Now, in 2013, the WWE has way more competition in those departments. Cable giants such as HBO and Viacom are almost entirely built on programs that highlight sex and violence. The WWE simply cannot compete in that form of entertainment anymore, so they have to change their philosophy on what kind of content they are going to highlight.
Lastly, I would like to point out a large misconception that a lot of people have about PG and how it affects the WWE's business. We look back at some of the mind-numbing numbers delivered during the Attitude Era, with the WWE sometimes receiving triple the rating for Monday Night Raw then they do today. One can look at the WWE's content during that time period and look at the content today and draw the obvious conclusion that the WWE should revert back towards it's old ways, TV-14 and all, in order to improve business and resuscitate it back to the level it was at during the late 90s.
However, the WWE converting to PG did not destroy WWE business like some people may believe. Starting in 2001, the WWE's numbers began to slip from their lofty heights, even while the product was as eccentric as it ever was. Even though the WWE remained TV-14 until July of 2008, the business end of the WWE had spiraled downward throughout the decade, proving the age old business cliché that nothing stays hot forever.
The WWE converting to PG hasn't necessarily reversed the trend in declining numbers, but it hasn't accentuated it either. Frankly, you cannot draw a direct conclusion between PG and the lack of business for the WWE, because the trend the WWE is currently on has been occurring long before they switched to PG programming.
Would converting more towards an adult oriented show perk up the numbers for the WWE? Hypothetically it is possible, but the WWE has made it very clear that they are dedicated to staying family friendly, and judging by the history and the benefits, it is hard to argue against them.
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