Vince McMahon is looking to flip programming from his World Wrestling Entertainment into a dedicated cable network within the next two years, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
WWE chairman McMahon, in an interview with the newspaper, outlined a strategy of toning down the sexual and violent content of the wrestling entertainment outfit to appeal to a more mainstream audience, and he cited the company's content library as being able to fill in the gaps on a 24-hour cable network.
"We have a lot of clout," McMahon told the L.A. Times.
WWE spokeswoman Megan Cisek said there are no additional details available about the company's plans to launch a cable network.
Currently, WWE has a key distribution deal with NBC Universal for the highly rated Monday Night Raw, which airs on USA Network and replays on Telemundo and mun2; in addition, WWE's ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling airs on Syfy. WWE also has TV deals with MyNetworkTV and Tribune's WGN America.
An NBCU spokesman declined to comment on the report.
WWE's television rights fee net revenue was $100.7 million in 2008 -- 19% of the grappling group's total revenue base -- up from $92.4 million the previous year (also 19% of total revenue), according to the company's annual report.
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