WWE Second Quarter Conference Call Report
* Michael Weitz opened the call, explaining that hat WrestleMania being in the second quarter this year and an $3.3M impairment charge from the film "That's What I am" had an effect on the quarter. He noted that WrestleMania occurring in the second quarter this year vs. the first quarter last year caused the numbers to be skewed, and they have accounted for that in their report.
* Vince McMahon then took over the call, and said that comparing this year to last year, that they are flat. He noted that he was not particularly proud of that, and said it could be better, but also noted that with the economy, it also could have been worse.
* McMahon noted that rights fees being flat were due to NXT and Superstars not getting US rights fees anymore, but was hopeful that they could get new deals for them.
* McMahon confirmed that they are in talks for a live one-hour show before Raw on USA.
* McMahon continued on, saying that TV ratings are slightly up across the board, and that attendance, as compared to this time last year is down 3%. Last year there was a drop of 19%, so the feeling is that they have stopped the bleeding there.
* McMahon next discussed PPV buys, noting that outside of WrestleMania that they were flat. He did note that the early numbers have Money in the Bank up 20% from last year.
* McMahon confirmed that the WWE studios film That's What I Am won awards, but that it did not matter, due to the film losing $3.3 million. He said the film was great, but that it did not appeal to the base WWE audience. He also noted that they will try to lower their production budgets.
* McMahon closed by talking about the WWE Network, saying that it would be rolling out soon. He also stated that the live USA show wouldn't necessarily have anything to do with the WWE network, and also noted that he felt the network would be a success.
* George Barrios then took over the call, broke down the main numbers touched on by McMahon, and put over WrestleMania and WWE All Stars as successful.
* Barrios noted that they are not happy with the film division, but that they have plans to fix the issues.
* Barrios says that the company is very optimistic of their long-term plans.
* They then moved onto the question and answer session. The first question was about the Rock coming back and the use of older stars. McMahon says that it is an option, and that they would consider it. They have multiple PPV plans for the Rock.
* They were asked about the UFC potentially starting their own network and how it would affect them. Vince said it would not hurt them, and said that the UFC "fell on their butt" recently when negotiating with NBC. Vince feels that they have a ton of content to offer on the new network, including running Superstars and NXT on the network.
* When asked about Summerslam, Vince was optimistic that the event would do well. He was also happy with how fast the WrestleMania 28 travel packages sold out.
* Barrios was asked about the Wal-Mart deal with the movies, and said that the company was very happy about he deal and momentum that they got from the deal.
* When asked about using local promoters over seas in new markets, Barrios said that it was a common practice as they enter a new market. He also noted that after they run a market a few times, they do business as they do here, taking on all the risk themselves.
* Barrios said that they are happy with their relationship with Mattel but they don't give guidance on specific areas.
* When asked about the film division, Barrios said it depends on the events that happen, such as the WWE network and other strategies taking place.
* When asked about the footage that they own, Barrios stated that they have over 100,000 hours of footage, and that 30,000 of it has been digitized.
* When Vince was asked if he would ever consider any form of merger or going private again, he stated "NO."
* When pressed on a launch date for the network, Barrios said between 12 and 18 months.
* Vince was asked his meeting with Dana White and whether they would partner up, Vince said no and stated that they are sports and WWE is entertainment. He also said that the meeting was more of a social event than a business meeting.
* The call ended.
Thanks to Larry Csonka for contributing to this article. Got a news tip? Send it to us by clicking here.