WWE Co-President George Barrios recently spoke with Citigroup and discussed the prospect of WWE competing with rival promotion AEW.
“I’m a kid from Queens, so everything is a competition, everything is a fight. That’s one of the things that I love about the WWE is we don’t take anything for granted. We are serious like a heart attack around fighting for our fair share.
“Having said that, I think it’s fair to say that there’s been other wrestling (promotions) in the United States and abroad, who we respect – the people and talent behind it and what they do. It can be tough to compete with us just because we’re so good at we do, we’ve built up capabilities and competency over a long, long time – how to build stars, how to build content, and how to engage fans over multiple platforms. I would say, don’t take anything for granted… I love a good fight, we enjoy it.”
Barrios was also asked about the decision to move NXT onto the USA Network and not broadcast it live on the WWE Network. He replied:
“When you ask specifically about NXT, we looked at the environments, and if there’s a significant value that continues to be placed on live content in the U.S. video ecosystem, we think that’s going to grow. What if we could develop another two-hours of live content that is equivalent to the five hours between RAW and SmackDown. If we can do that, that’s a game-changer, so let’s see if we can do that.
“The negative is that it’s living on your DTC service today. By pulling that off (the Network), have you deprecated that DTC service? It’s a delicate balance that we’re always managing and ultimately, we came to the conclusion that while there’s manifestly some depreciation, we thought it was fairly minimal that the opportunity was big enough for us to take that risk, which led us to that decision. It’s a short-term deal, so we’ll learn over the term of the deal, and then at that point in time, we’ll decide if we still think it’s worth continuing.”
Thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription