Ex-ESPN Executive Discusses The WWE Network & More


Larry Mann, a former vice president of sales with ESPN, recently spoke with Newsday about the WWE Network. Here are the highlights…

On Working With Fox Sports & TNA: “We were the eighth stepchild trying to compete against a 400-pound gorilla.”

On The Impact on the TV Product: “Or, does it maybe potentially help boost USA TV ratings because with the digital component they’re able to expand and broaden their awareness?” Mann said. “Maybe it becomes a win-win and this becomes a secondary tool to drive a higher awareness for the product. I’m sure they [WWE] had plenty of conversations with USA prior to doing this,” Mann said. “My guess is they took the research that they did, and when they walked in to USA Network and pitched that this is the direction that they’re going to go, was that they could help grow the vehicle rather than continue the slide.”

On Going Digital: “The TV-everywhere concept in many cases is to try to appeal to the youth,” says Mann, who helps brands make media buys. “Not only youth, but also technical-savvy individuals that may not watch as much television but they’re on the go and they have an interest in a product like WWE. This just allows them broaden their reach. As a media buyer like myself, this is the challenge we face, to help brands. Now, let’s say I have a brand that’s interested in exploring a partnership with WWE. Well, depending on the brand’s objectives and who they’re trying to target, now I have a whole new way to go about it.”

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