WWE never intended for their Network to become Netflix or Disney+.
Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, WWE's Chief Financial Officer Kristina Salen spoke about how the company's live-event business model has been affected by COVID, attracting younger audiences through YouTube and TikTok, and transitioning the WWE Network to NBCUniversal's Peacock platform.
When asked about the Network's struggle to expand its subscriber base, Salen argued that it was only because they didn't actively target people in the same way a larger service might.
"I would argue against the idea that the WWE Network struggled to grow. From our perspective, we didn’t actively and aggressively go after subscribers in the way that a large, mass-audience streaming platform would."
Salen also asserts that WWE is not a technology company. Their goal is not to be Netflix or Disney+. That said, they're excited about the broader audience Peacock provides.
"First and foremost, it’s not our core competency to become Netflix, or even to become Disney+. The WWE Network by definition was going to be smaller than these mass-technology platforms. Because we’re not a technology company. We’re an entertainment company.
From that perspective, the attraction of getting involved with another streaming partner is exactly as you described. It gives us access to a broader platform of folks within a premium tier."
Prior to joining WWE in July of 2020, Kristina Salen made waves in the startup world as the first CFO of Etsy Inc.
The WWE-Peacock relationship takes shape this March for WWE Network subscribers.