WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon does not see AEW as competition in the same way he once viewed WCW.
Vince was asked about AEW during today’s WWE Q2 2021 earnings call with investors. The caller noted that AEW seems to be making significant investments with their roster, and they are gaining in viewership, especially in the 18-49 key demographic. He asked Vince how WWE currently views AEW as competition, and if he feels WWE needs to counter AEW’s investments with their own additional roster investments, seeing as how WWE and AEW could be competing for media rights in the future, or if this is a “rising tides lift all boats” type of situation like there was back in the day with WCW.
“Well, it certainly is not a situation where ‘rising tides’ because that was when Ted Turner was coming after us with all of Time Warner’s assets as well,” Vince responded. “That was a different situation. AEW is where they are. I don’t really know what their plans are, all I know is what our plans are.
“I don’t consider them competition in the way that I would consider WCW back in the day, not anywhere near close to that. And I’m not so sure what their investments are as far as their talent is concerned, but perhaps we can give them some more.”
Vince did not elaborate on that last line.
WWE President & Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan chimed in with additional comments on how WWE sees everything as competition, including sleep.
“I think the way we always look at these situations, you know, it’s sort of like a horse race where the horse has blinders on,” Khan added. “We’re looking straight ahead at our lane and making sure that we stay in the front of the pack. At the same time, everything is our competition. Someone had a line a couple of weeks ago, that we all chuckled at and agreed with – sleep is our competition. Right?
“If it was up to us, people could be up 24 hours a day, watching content from different content providers, hopefully including ours. So, we don’t look at any organization particularly as competition, yet we see everything as competitive with what we’re trying to do, in terms of eyeballs.”