WWE Chief Financial Officer George Barrios gave a company presentation on Wednesday at the 2012 ROTH OC Growth Stock Conference in California including a Q and A session regarding current operations.
* When asked about the WWE Network, Barrios said the company was in the middle of “fairly intense negotiations.” He added that the idea for the network came up many years ago when they began acquiring many video tape libraries and wanted to better monetize it. Barrios estimated WWE would be spending up to $45 million on the network this year.
* Barrios admitted that the WWE Studios divisoin was a “disaster” over the last year and that they would be moving away from the plan of small releases into a DVD release. Instead they plan to work with partners to release them straight to DVD. He added that 2011 was an “absolute execution disaster” for the department. Barrios estimated that $20 million would be spent on six to nine projects over this year. He described last year an “expensive lesson.”
* When UFC was brought up, Barrios said that the belief that UFC has an effect on WWE business is a “misconception” as WWE’s business was primarily TV where as UFC has more of a focus on PPV. He added that WWE’s TV ratings “blow UFC out of the water.”
* When asked about the next generation of talents on the roster, Barrios said the roster is “turning over now” and they don’t know who the next big name will be yet. He said fans end up picking the next big star over time.
* Barrios said the brand is “strong as ever” and one area they plan to target is consumer products internationally.