During this past weekend's ROTH Capital Partners meeting in California, WWE CFO George Barrios updated the status of the highly anticipated WWE Network, and gave some explanations as to why it's taking so long to go into production.
The main thing WWE is focusing on currently is the negotiating of new television contracts for both Raw and Smackdown on the USA Network and SyFy, respectively. They are also working hard to "monetize that massive social audience," as Barrios stated.
Currently WWE has a 3-year plan to negotiate new deals, capitalize on all their social media outlets, and launch an official premium network that would dramatically shift their content, including the distribution of pay-per-view. The future success of WWE Studios projects also plays a key role in the decision to pull the trigger on a network.
"If you want to keep track on us over the next 18 months to see if we're delivering, it's announcements on those renewals, it's getting a Network carriage agreement – once you get the first one, that creates the momentum for future, but you need to get the first one – announcements and monetization of those digital products, and turning films from a drag on the financials into something that's beneficial."