WWE’s Chief Strategy and Financial Officer talks WWE Network at conference


George Barrios, WWE’s Chief Strategy and Financial Officer attended the UBS 41st Annual Global Media and Communications Conference two days ago and gave a presentation about WWE like he does every year.

Apart from discussing the usual finances, TV deals, and other revenue-generating opportunities, Barrios dedicated a good time on the proposed WWE Network, which is scheduled – or better yet, rumored – to launch in the beginning of 2014.

Barrios said that after a lot of research, the price point of $10 to $15 was the best one out there and that will include pay-per-views, the home entertainment library, and previous pay-per-views.

“If we get to about a million subscriber even with the cannibalization of that pay-per-view business we break even,” he added. “We’ve been working with the MVPDs, the same pitch I just gave you here, let’s transform the pay-per-view business together, grow the business for both of us. Quite frankly it’s been a bit of a slog, having those discussions but we continue to have them.”

Barrios said that they’re still working with cable providers to “knock out a deal” over traditional distribution but if that doesn’t work, they will go the Netflix way and have it all online.

“If you went down each line item they differ between traditional and over-the-top distribution. Pricing is different, splits are different, costs are different but similarly about a million subscribers you breakeven with your pay-per-view cannibalization. 2 million to 4 million you are in the $50 million to $150 million of incremental OIBDA, so a real transformation opportunity with the network.“