When the XFL kicked off its first and only football season on NBC in 2000, it did so to a Nielsen ratings more than double what the broadcaster had promised advertisers. By the time that season ended, the league was posting record lows for its Saturday-night time period.A partnership between NBC and the WWE, the XFL is largely remembered as the most significant failure of the two men who spearheaded it — WWE founder Vince McMahon and longtime NBC Sports...
Vince McMahon, the current majority owner, chairman, and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, is involved in both on the corporate and creative side of the business. Himself a former grappler with premium ringside experience, McMahon took over the company from his father in the 80’s, and has enmeshed himself in professional wrestling for over 30 years.
Under his guidance, WWE has grown into a global phenomenon. Revenues in the second quarter of 2017 hit record highs for the company on the strength of a multiplatform strategy keyed by one of the first big OTT plays in the industry. India and the Middle East are just beginning to feel WWE’s global expansion, and China isn’t far behind.
After graduating from East Carolina University in 1968, he joined the World Wide Wrestling Federation as an in-ring announcer, before becoming a full-blown promoter for the league. McMahon founded Titan Sports in 1980, and personally recruited Hulk Hogan to join the WWF, which he had pushed to rename, in 1984. From there, McMahon oversaw the explosion in popularity that the WWF (later renamed WWE) would go through all throughout the 80’s and 90’s, with various mega-stars coming in and out of the fold, while McMahon sometimes found himself in the squared-circle ready for action.
His unleashing of the now-famous “Monday Night Raw” program proved to be one of cable television’s biggest hits. McMahon also stretched into film producing, with WWE Studios releasing a number of high-octane action films since 2002, including “The Scorpion King,” “The Rundown,” and “The Marine.”