Highlights from WWE conference call

WWE released its third quarter earnings earlier today. A full report can be viewed at this link posted earlier today on WrestleView.com.

As usual, the company held an investor call. The company took in $111.3 million from the months of July through September and made an $8.9 million profit. This profit margin was better than the same period last year.

Some other numbers were:

* House show business was up over the three months.

* Merchandise, Internet and PPV were down (more on PPV later).

* Television rights fees were up.

* It was noted that spending was way down across the board.

* Vince McMahon and George Barrios both spoke during the investor call and spoke very confidently about the future of the company.

* Both felt WWE Studios would start being a bigger profit center since they were now going to do low budget films, give them very short commercial releases and then release them on DVD.

* McMahon was also very confident about the future feeling major increases in profitability will take place over the next three years involving merchandise sales increasing outside North America (due to working with Mattel).

* He also discussed the possibility of having a “WWE Network.” Nothing serious in regards to a budget or battle plan was discussed or presented during the call.

* McMahon feels the best way to measure the success of creative and storylines is by looking at house show attendance, which was 9% in North America from 5,300 paid per show to 5,800.

* PPV buyrates: Breaking Point drew poorly doing only 169,000 buys worldwide, SummerSlam did 369,000 buys (down from 478,000 buys last year). The only increase was from July with The Bash that did 264,000 buys.

* When asked about the departure of Shane McMahon, Vince said he left to pursue other opportunities in the marketplace. He added that people running the company is based on performance and merit, “not because your last name is McMahon.”

Source: The Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online

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