Recap From WWE’s Third Quarter 2014 Earnings Call With Vince McMahon
– Vince McMahon and other senior members of WWE management will be hosting an earnings call from WWE headquarters in Stamford this morning at 11am. The call starts with Michael Weitz, SVP Financial Planning & Investor Relations. Weitz gives a brief introduction before handing the call over to Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon.
* Vince says the results exceeded their own and analysts’ expectations. Vince touts the success of some of WWE’s TV properties and talks about the Network subscriber count. He commented on how big of a deal SmackDown ratings being up 2% is. RAW ratings are also up 3%. 90% of subscribers access the Network once a week. He says the subscriber engagement is outstanding.
* They are certain the new $9.99 no commitment pay model is the way to go. The Network will be available in November in the UK. Vince finishes up and didn’t say much this call.
* Chief Strategy & Financial Officer George Barrios is next. Barrios went over the numbers that were announced this morning and touted some of WWE’s social media success. He also talked about the Network and talked about plans to localize it in other languages.
* WWE feels they have seen significant progress in their strategy with the Network and will continue to invest in it.
* Licensing revenue is up due to the new video game with 2K Sports, which calls for higher royalties. Live events are down due to fewer international events. North American attendance was down 7% while average international attendance was up 15%.
* WWE currently has a $150 million credit limit and $69 million in cash & investments. Earlier this month they received a $50 million advance for a new unspecified TV deal.
* WWE has seen a growth of $40 million in the past year.
* The Q&A with shareholders is up next.
* A caller asked if quality of content may have to do with some Network subscribers not renewing. Barrios said they are thrilled with subscriber engagement and didn’t really answer the question but implied that they’re happy with content. He said the Network grows in value as they go on and they couldn’t be happier.
* Rogers is working on getting more distribution in Canada for the Network. They currently only have 20% clearance in Canada.
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