This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Here's Why the WWE Network Is a 'Ground Breaking Event'

Stocks in this article: WWE NFLX GOOG FOXA CMCSA LVLT AKAM

During the interview, Barrios stated the first-quarter guidance reflected a "wide-range" for OIBDA to reflect all the changes going on in the business. "There are huge factors to include in that," Barrios said. "There's the television deal, as well as the subscriber ramp up," noting the company's financial performance could change drastically on the outcomes of the deal and how many subscribers Stamford, CT.-based WWE has at the end of the first quarter.

On the earnings call, WWE said it would give an update on how many subscribers it has for the network, after WrestleMania, on April 7.

The Network is changing the business rapidly, with Barrios noting the company is using multiple content delivery network (CDN) partners, so that there's redundancy. "We're using Level 3 (LVLT) and Akamai (AKAM), so that there's redundancy in the system," he said.

Despite reports to the contrary (previous reports suggested 1,000 hours), there will be 1,500 hours worth of content available at launch. The network has been live for about 5 weeks now, with continued testing across multiple devices. "The programming that's airing is getting better and better. I'm one of the testers, and it looks awesome on my iPad," Barrios exclaimed. WWE Network will be available on Apple (AAPL) iOS devices, Google (GOOG) Android devices, Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle Fire, Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox, Sony's (SNE) PlayStation and Roku

In a separate announcement, WWE announced the Network would be coming to Apple TV. "WWE is pleased to announce that WWE Network is available on Apple TV beginning today, Monday, February 24," WWE said in a statement.

With the launch of the Network, obviously the company's relationship with existing content providers, including Hulu, Netflix and YouTube will change, but Barrios noted the company is very cognizant of what goes on YouTube. He noted the company has done over 2 billion views on YouTube, and provides 10 hours of short form content a week to the Internet video service. Barrios noted that following the expiration of the Hulu Plus deal, it won't get renewed.

Barrios said that 1 million domestic subscribers for the Network would help the company break-even, but that 2 to 3 million domestic subscribers would provide the company with an additional $50 to $150 million in incremental EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). "If we come out of 2014 with 1 million subscribers, we'll get to 2 to 3 million in the traditional ramp rate," he went on to say. "We've done a lot of research on this. We have very excitable fans who share the brand exuberance, and the standard algorithms we did for the research saw we could get 2 to 3 million subscribers. That's a home run for us, and it changes the business."

Ultimately, WWE is going to bring the Network to the U.K., Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong and the Nordics by the end of 2014, early 2015, which should provide an additional $25 to $50 million in EBITDA. Barrios did have a caveat for Canadian wrestling fans, noting "Between you and I, Canada might get a surprise, and get it earlier than late 2014."

In 2016 and beyond, WWE Network will come to non-English speaking countries.

For fans concerned about the availability of Raw on the Network, the delay on Raw will be a 30-day window, but that the full show will appear, different than the company's current deal with Hulu. Any changes to the window would be worked out in the next media deal.

What the WWE is doing is incredibly ambitious, and Barrios said that other companies are watching what it's doing. "The uniqueness combines a 24/7 linear stream with a massive video-on-demand (VOD) library; I think this is pretty special, pretty cool. YouTube is watching us, and I've heard that HBO and ESPN are also keeping their eyes on this. It's a ground breaking event, and that to me is important."

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

>Contact by Email.

2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs