WWE Co-President George Barrios recently appeared as a guest on CNBC's "Closing Bell" show to talk about WWE's 4th quarter financials and the complete 2018 financial earnings. Featured below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On the reason why WWE hasn't been bought by a conglomerate such as Disney, Comcast or AT&T and Vince McMahon's quote about the topic: "They're all smart, they're all doing great things, I'm sure they're going to be really successful. We're happy with our strategy. I'll quote our Founder, Chairman and CEO [Vince McMahon], 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."
On who, if anyone, is a direct competitor to WWE these days: "Well in our world, which is entertaining people, everything that puts a smile on someone's face or gets their attention is a competitor. 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."
On mistakes traditional media companies have made and what they should do different: "I think one of the things, culturally, that WWE has been good at, is re-imagining itself. 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."
Check out the George Barrios interview from CNBC's "Closing Bell" show below.