Highlights of the WWE conference call from earlier today with Vince McMahon, Michael Weitz (Investor Relations) and George Barrios (CFO) courtesy of Prowrestling.net.
Vince McMahon described the second quarter as flat adding, “It was nothing to write home about.” McMahon touted the 17 percent increases in PPV revenue, but noted that licensing, live events and television ratings were flat.
McMahon spoke highlight of the “excellent” television ratings for the 1,000th episode of Raw and said adding a third hour to the show will give them added exposure.
Vince said people remained patient regarding the launch of the WWE Network. He said while they aren’t ready to make an announcement, he felt “very confident” that an announcement would be made next month.
Barrios revealed that WWE invested $5 million in Tout and that it was downloaded more than 30,000 times after they began featuring it on Raw.
Also mentioned by Barrios was upcoming movie releases including “The Marine: Homefront” featuring The Miz, “Dead Man Down” starring Colin Farrell and Wade Barrett, “The Hive” with Halle Berry and David Otunga, “No One Lives” with Luke Evans featuring Brodus Clay and “Barricade.”
It was revealed that WWE spent $100,000 to remaster “No Holds Barred” and expect to generate $300,000 in revenue from the film.
They began taking calls and were first asked about the range of format options for the WWE Network. Barrios said three basic models exist including basic distribution, a pay TV format and a third that is “over the top.”
Barrios stated WWE will be spending $5 million and $10 million on programming for the WWE Network this year. He said they would reveal the expense and investment model once more details are revealed.
Barrios acknowledged that attendance for Smackdown live events is declining, although didn’t want to compare it to other quarters are they are exploring different markets.
No definite answer was provided regarding Superstars and NXT becoming available on television in the United States.
When a caller stated that the company needed to reveal more information about the WWE Network as a concerned shareholder, McMahon added, “I’m quite confident that the next earnings call will have a lot more clarity for you.”
A caller mentioned that Raw and PPV events seem to becoming more “edgier” and if they have plans to back away from the TV-PG format. McMahon said he looks at the current television product as an evolvement and feels the writing has been “considerably better.” He said they have been more G than PG at times, but said you can stretch things. He agreed with the callers assessment that at times they are too G on certain things.