WWE CFO George Barrios continued to discuss the WWE business model, this time commenting on MMA, Great Khali and more. Here are the highlights…
On MMA As Competition: "In the battle for time, there's millions of competitors. So when you ask me about MMA, I'm not sure, but there's a million things that I'm fighting for, it's video game, it's cat videos, it's hundred different shows that people spending their time watching," Barrios said. "So, yeah, MMA, we don't view them as a unique competitor, but they are entertainment and they are out there and so, but for us not something that we spend a lot of time focusing on."
On The New Video Game Deal: "We were lagging the overall industry in the composition of our game revenue with THQ. So we liked their success - Take-Two's success in monetizing 360 degrees," Barrios said. "So, obviously, we've got to cut the deal and we had to get the deal that was comfortable, that we were comfortable with on the economics and we did."
On Why Great Khali is on TV: "We track ratings across the world and one of the things that you see is when Wade Barrett of English descent is a key storyline contributor, our ratings in the U.K. do better. When one of our Indian superstars is key in storyline, our ratings in India do better. So kind of managing all that is tough."
On Opening International Specific Promotions: "We don't think today it makes sense because one of the key value propositions - we believe the reason the show travels internationally - is because of catchiness of it, the Americana of it," Barrios said. "I don't think you can just take it and say all right, let's take 20 athletic people of X descent, put them in that country, and people are going to say it's WWE... Everybody likes cover bands, but I think Rolling Stones would draw better in China than for Chinese guys playing Rolling Stones music. So we're kind of the same thing. So we never say never but strategically we don't think it works."