Other links involving the 2009 WWE first quarter earnings:
Full quarter earnings can be read at this link.
An updated look at 2009 PPV buyrates can be viewed at this link.
A breakdown of other important numbers can be viewed at this link.
In conjunction with the release of the 2009 first quarter earnings, WWE held a conference call earlier today to discuss the numbers that were released. Those who took part in the call included Chairman Vince McMahon, Chief Executive Officer Linda McMahon, Chief Financial Officer George Barrios and Chief Operating Officer Donna Goldsmith.
Here are some highlights courtesy of PWInsider:
– Vince McMahon felt the first quarter earnings were “fair to poor” in his opinion, but felt they were “set up for success in the future.” He put over that the company maintains its number one status on every network they are on over the course of the last year and feels they can “do better on all counts.” McMahon also addressed the new “PG” attitude in the company saying that although they don’t sell their own advertising, it will bring more advertisers to their shows now and thus get higher fees from the networks.
– Vince stated that the company is also reaching out to the media and other entertainment areas to expand the product, referencing the recent partnership with “The View.”
– It was heavily stressed that these first quarter earnings did not include WrestleMania 25 figures, which resulted in a huge difference when you compare this quarter to the first quarter in 2008. They also mentioned the cost cutting that went into play in early 2009.
– On the switch from Jakks to Mattell for their toy line, Vince called it “night and day” and praised Mattell for being a very good partner that will help them in markets they aren’t in right now.
– In regards to the company’s relationship with DVD distributor Genius, it was stated that while there have been publicized issues with the company, they were paid by them on time and have no issues.
– On the split dividend which bascially saw the McMahon family give up payment to them in order to pay a divident to their shareholders, Vince said it was solely due to “generosity” on their part and joked that many on Wall Street were shocked by this move.
– When asked if “12 Rounds” would break even, George Barrios said that overseas business and DVD sales will allow them to get past the break even point for it. Vince added that while profits with the film division were not impressive, it should be seen as part of their overall business. He added that doing another $20 million dollar production for theatrical release going forward won’t be happening as there is “no need” to do it and will instead put emphasis on direct-to-DVD releases.
– When asked about the differences between the product now verus where it was in the 90s when there were much more “established stars”, Vince responded saying that while they use older performers in a “minor role” at WrestleMania, their focus is on the new faces along with a few established stars. He added that they have several young stars ready to break out and that they are a much different company now than they were in the 90’s and that the business has changed drastically since then.