Highlights from WWE’s shareholders meeting on Friday courtesy of The Wrestling Observer.
* Vince McMahon started the meeting speaking for around ten minutes in what was described as “off the cuff.” McMahon guaranteed that one year from now the company would be in way better shape than it is now. He added there were two reasons for business faltering – the film department and TV licensing. McMahon said by choice they kept two hours of TV off the air with NXT and Superstars and didn’t get any U.S. rights fees. He claimed ratings for Raw were up 3% and Smackdown was up 15% (not accurate). McMahon was described as looking “really old” and tired.
* CFO George Barrios talked about financials saying that 95% of what was wrong this past year was the film division and TV licensing. He noted the film division would be changing.
* When taking questions from shareholders, the WWE Network was brought up and they were asked if they could pull of a network when Oprah couldn’t. Vince said Oprah was about her TV show and she didn’t put her TV show on her network. He added why would anyone care about her network if she didn’t put her show on. McMahon also said the start date was delayed because they didn’t want to make the mistakes Oprah made. He didn’t give an actual start date for the network, but was “hopeful” by the end of the year as that remains the plan.
* When asked if they were going to drop Classics on Demand, Vince said most likely.
* In regards to most PPV events moving to the network, Vince said that may or may not happen.
* When asked about developmental, it was noted they will make a big announcement very soon.
* When asked if they would back off PG programming, Vince responded, “absolutely not.”
* A replacement for Randy Orton in the next “The Marine” movie would be announced soon.
* The falling stock price wasn’t discussed much, but Vince said if he had the money he would buy shares at that price. He noted the stock price was down because of the uncertainty about the network.
* When asked if he would ever consider moving Wrestlemania to free television since it is often compared to the Super Bowl and could make more money on ad revenue, Vince said, “Why would we do that? That makes no sense to our bottom line to do that.” He added they came off their most successful money-making Wrestlemania ever and said that the Super Bowl would move to PPV if they were allowed to do so.