As seen above, WWE Co-President George Barrios recently appeared on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” program to discuss the WWE 4th quarter and full 2018 financial earnings.
Barrios was asked why WWE hasn’t been bought by someone like Disney, Comcast or AT&T. Barrios quoted WWE Chairman Vince McMahon on the company being open for business, but said they will continue to do what they have been doing.
“They’re all smart, they’re all doing great things, I’m sure they’re going to be really successful,” Barrios said. “We’re happy with our strategy. I’ll quote our Founder, Chairman and CEO, who said we’re always open for business, and speak to people about interesting ideas, but we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing.”
Barrio was also asked if WWE has any direct competitor. He quotes Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, and said even sleep is competition.
“Well in our world, which is entertaining people, everything that puts a smile on someone’s face or gets their attention is a competitor,” Barrios said. “I always say the best thing I’ve ever heard was Reed Hastings describing competition. He said sleep is competition. What we hope, we did almost 6 billion hours of video consumed around the world in 2018, is that we can cut through the clutter. So if we have enough fans saying, ‘Hey I want to get my WWE,’ we think we can cut through the clutter.”
Barrios also talked about what mistakes traditional media companies have made and what he would suggest they do different. Barrios pointed to how WWE has been good at re-imagining itself.
“I think one of the things, culturally, that WWE has been good at, is re-imagining itself,” Barrios said. “Thinking through, being honest about what they think the opportunities are, and looking ahead, and also having the grit to push through the ups & downs. So you start here, you end up there, it’s not a straight line. And pushing through the downtimes can be tough. So, I think that grit element is sometimes misunderstood. Separate from that, we’re not an aggregator of content. So, when we say the word media, you’re sometimes lumping together IP owners and aggregators. We’re not an aggregator, we’re an IP owner. So it’s a little bit different.”