WWE Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call Highlights, Vince McMahon Talks, Network, More
* Michael White opened the call. He noted that the fourth quarter earning results were released this morning.
* Vince McMahon said WWE improved pay-per-view profits by $2 million and home entertainment video products by $2 million.
* Vince revealed that there was 100% growth in Facebook and Twitter followers, and said that it will continue to grow. Vince went on to tout that they are #2 for action figures in the U.S. He called the last quarter a “generally good quarter.”
* Vince said that the PPV with the Rolling Stones opened other doors, and cited partnerships with Hulu, Susan G. Komen and Hire Heroes. He said that they completed the video game deal with Take-Two, which is “very exciting.”
* Vince also mentioned adding the third hour of RAW, Saturday Morning Slam and WWE Main Event, which reaches a different demo.
* Vince said that 2013 will be flat in terms of EBITA.
* Michael White took over the call again.
* White said that WWE produced new programming, and the number of hours of domestic original programming increased from 4 hours per week to 6.5 hours per week.
* White mentioned the Hulu deal again, and said that there was a 12% increase in television viewers.
* White mentioned that they doubled their Facebook and Twitter followers to 130 million.
* White then went over the earnings report.
* After going over the earnings, he went over the Outlook Release.
* After Barrios’ presentation, they went to the Q&A.
* Licensing deals for RAW and SmackDown, as well as licensing deals in UK & India will be renegotiated this year.
* Will not give a prediction for when the Network will launch. They feel optimistic about launching it, but won’t give dates.
* With the Network, WrestleMania would remain on pay-per-view, other pay-per-views would move to the Network.
* They mentioned that Take-Two blew them away with their vision, but that structurally the deal with Take-Two is a little different than with THQ.
* On if the Network will be PG. Vince said that not all programming will necessarily be PG. Vince noted that a lot of their films are rated R. He said that edgier programming could be shown later in the evening, etc.
* Talked about their upcoming films Dead Man Down, The Call and The Marine 3. Vince called the commercial releases of Dead Man Down and The Call “very important” and will be telling of their new model.
* On the effect the Network will have with pay-per-view distributors, White wouldn’t discuss their agreements with distributors.
* A question was asked about benchmarks for the Network and when they would perceive it to be at a steady state. He said 1 million subscribers was the break even number. They believe that 3-4 million subscribers will be reached. They said they will have a better gauge of how the model is working after 6-12 months per system. That concluded the call.