As is the norm for a financial reporting date, Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon and Chief Strategy & Financial Officer George Barrios held an investor conference call today. The pair answered questions after a brief opening statement that summarized the financial reports we posted about earlier.
Here are some items of interest that the two discussed on the call:
- Total Divas was E! Network's #1 show in its third season, a fact even Vince attributed to The Kardashians' shows being on hiatus.
- The video sales were the other item (besides WrestleMania) singled out as a revenue driver. Barrios said profits from games were up 30% and Supercard was mentioned as playing a significant role in that.
- Barrios hyped the 1.8 million unique subscribers the Network has attracted since its launch last March, but declined to answer a question about how many of those that were customers for WrestleMania 30 were still subscribed for last month's version of the event.
- WWE is open to expanding advertising, both via relationships like the one with Paramount that lead to Triple H's Terminator-themed entrance in Santa Clara and with more ads on Network programming.
- Chromecast and AndroidTV were mentioned as additional platforms they're looking to port the Network to, but Barrios cautioned that they need to assess each's long-term viability before investing in development.
- Vince said that raising prices for their marquee events like SummerSlam, Royal Rumble or WrestleMania is an option, but said they have no plans to do it right now. The goal is to keep subscribers engaged year-round. He emphasized their ability to adapt quickly should such a move seem prudent, however.
- The importance of social media was a recurring theme, both for further engaging customers and for reaching younger demographics. The Network is skewing their demographics younger, Barrios said.
- Additional international expansion is still planned, but no new countries are likely to be added in 2015. Eighteen months was the timeframe given for new market launches.
- On the subject of subscriber churn, Barrios said that they're still trying to learn what drives that and how advertising and promotion effect it. He noted that the old model (pay-per-view) trained the audience to pick and choose events, and they have to break that habit.
- They're working on algorithims which will help them understand connections between YouTube viewers and Network subscribers and ticket buyers, etc.
- Most of WrestleMania 31's PPV buys came from outside the United States.
- They have tools to prevent and manage subscribers cancelling to rejoin during free months, but they declined to go into specifics and only said it's not a perfect process.
What jumps out at you, Cagesiders?
For a full transcript of the call, click here.