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Vince McMahon announces new record WWE Network subscriber numbers

When WWE announced that they were holding a special conference call to discuss the Network the day after WrestleMania, you knew it wasn't going to be bad news. So Wade Barrett stayed home, and Chairman Vince McMahon handled the duties.

Mr. McMahon was pleased to let us know that due to the free trial month of February and WrestleMania 31, the over-the-top streaming service hit a new high in subscribers at 1.3 million. The company is understandably touting that as an affirmation of their strategy to leave pay-per-view (PPV) and indicating that this new number means their first quarter will exceed estimates.

Here's the wire report, complete with quotes from Vince and George Barrios:

WWE® Network Surpasses 1.3 Million Subscribers
Full Year Business Outlook Reaffirmed While Q1 2015 Currently Projected to Exceed Guidance

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

WWE® (WWE) today announced that WWE Network surpassed 1.3 million subscribers following WrestleMania® 31, making it the most viewed WrestleMania in history. WrestleMania was broadcast around the world last night on WWE Network as well as on pay-per-view from a sold-out Levi's® Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. The results represent a 97% increase from April 7, 2014 - the day after WrestleMania last year and a 31% increase since January 27, 2015, when the network surpassed the 1 million subscriber milestone. Recent growth was driven by the success of our February free promotion and the iconic attraction of the Company's WrestleMania event.

"We believe that exceeding 1.3 million subscribers reflects the successful execution of our strategy and puts us on the path to transformative growth through WWE Network," said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. "We remain focused on driving subscriber value by delivering the most compelling user experience and new content, evidenced by our new original series and partnerships with Seth Green, Jeff Tremaine and Jerry Springer."

"We are pleased with our short-term results and, for the first quarter, we currently project to exceed our most recent public guidance associated with an estimated average of approximately 918,000 paid subscribers," said George Barrios, WWE Chief Strategy & Financial Officer. "We are also confident in the long-term potential and understand subscriber growth could take many different paths. For example, Network subscribers might show consistent sequential quarterly gains or the quarterly adoption curve could exhibit seasonality with year-over-year growth. Regardless, over the long-term, we believe WWE Network has the potential to drive significant economic returns."

Based on data to date, WWE Network attracted an average of approximately 918,000 paid subscribers over the first quarter 2015, representing a 27% increase from the fourth quarter 2014 average.1 The network's February free promotion contributed to that growth, attracting approximately 201,000 trial subscribers, of which 154,000, or 77%, converted to paying subscribers in March. WWE Network reached an average of 982,000 total subscribers during the first quarter 2015, including both free trial and paid subscribers. To date, WWE Network has attracted nearly 1.8 million unique subscribers.

And some graphics released with for the call that illustrate the subscriber numbers:

There were further announcements concerning the new Network content we told you about earlier, and we'll have full details about those shortly.

Impressed by these figures, Cagesiders?