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WWE CO-PRESIDENT GEORGE BARRIOS TALKS WWE NETWORK RELAUNCH, WHY THEY LEFT DISNEY, AEW AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2019-09-10 13:50:00

The Verge featured an interview with WWE Co-President George Barrios discussing the WWE Network's relaunch in association with Endeavor Streaming, future plans and more.  While you can read the entire article by clicking here, here are some highlights:

Leaving Disney's BAMTech: "“Obviously, I can’t speak for what they were thinking. From our perspective, we made the decision unilaterally. They may have been going that way as well. But our perspective, once Disney came in and paid the price they paid for BAMTech, we didn’t think they were going to be a long-term player in the third-party services business. Didn’t know one way or another, so that was us making the call. And that’s when we made the decision that it made sense for us to pivot.”

Shifting the WWE Network to Endeavor Streaming: "The heavy lift is less on the video side. That’s actually fairly straightforward.  The more difficult lift is all on the data side.  Our ability to iterate on all of it — on the entire stack — is greatly enhanced. So our users are going to be really, really happy as we continue to roll out some of the things we had to pull back as well as new features and functionality. I think they’re going to be thrilled.”

On subscribers' noticing content that was missing after the relaunch: “They’re right. There are things that are missing, and those are going to come quick."

The future Premium Tier, which will be priced higher: “We think there’s also an opportunity to super-serve our most passionate Network subscribers with a premium tier that’ll bring together more content for them, more features for them, and also integrating some of our other non-video services like our commerce — potentially integrating something like free shipping, bringing together our digital ticketing efforts in there. It becomes the one place to experience everything WWE.” 

A timeline for WWE Network in 4K: "4K, I think that will be driven more by the penetration of 4K devices and then 4K consumption. It seems like a century ago, but when we moved to HD 10 years ago or so, we waited until about 25 or 30 percent of the big screens in the homes were HD-capable.  I think similarly, both from a broadband standpoint (5G driving some of it) as well as the big screen penetration of 4K, when we go 4K kind of will be driven by that. To your point, we’ve experimented with it, but I wouldn’t expect a significant amount of video content in 4K this year certainly.”

All Elite Wrestling: “Welcome to the game. We’ll see how it goes.” 

 

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