WWE CFO George Barrios was at the UBS 39th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference this month and spoke in depth about WWE’s business performance as well as why WWE does not view the UFC as competition. You can read the full transcript at SeepingAlpha.com.
Barrios spoke about how WWE monitors every aspect of their business:
“Some of those metrics that we look at pretty intently is our live event attendance both in North America and overseas, our television ratings for the four to six hours that we will have on the air domestically at given time, which we also report,” he said. “We also look at our rating globally…We always look at how we are trending in social media, primarily Facebook and Twitter. Google Trends and Google Analytics also gives us a sense of how the brand is trending from a search perspective. We look at our own unique and page views on our own site as well as the streams that we do – we do about 75 million video streams on YouTube every month. So, we track that.”
WWE’s CFO also spoke about the UFC and explains why WWE does not consider them direct compeition:
I think we get a lot of questions about MMA, as I often say, it’s because I think people see that the both are performers are wearing some form of spandex, so they think there must be some natural competition there. We don’t view it that way,” he said. “We tend to — we take the broader view, which is we are a pop culture entertainment brand, and anything that takes attention away from us is something that gets our attention. We don’t really view UFC or MMA more broadly as a specific competitor, but you know they are part of entertainment landscape and they take eyeballs away from — or they soak up eyeballs, so we obviously have to be aware of them. But we don’t view them as specific competitor. Barrios concluded, “I don’t want to diminish them as a competitor but I also don’t — we don’t anyway elevate them as a specific competitor.”