Barrios: OTT Third Option For WWE Network

The WWE explored traditional linear distribution and a-la-carte distribution through cable operators for its upstart WWE Network before deciding to offer it as a digital over-the-top service, according to George Barrios, WWE chief strategy and financial officer.

“On the network side we couldn’t get to a deal that made sense for both of us,” Barrios said during a recent video interview with Multichannel News multimedia and programming editor R. Thomas Umstead.

Barrios also said the company’s Wrestlemania event franchise has generated more than $1 billion in pay-per-view, live gate and merchandising revenue since launching 30 years ago. Wrestlemania 30 takes place Sunday (April 6) in New Orleans, and for the first time will air live via traditional pay-per-view and through the $9.99 per month WWE Network. Click here to see the full interview.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.