WWE 2013 Q2 Call Highlights: Vince McMahon Calls Quarter 'Lousy,' WWE Network Update
McMahon said that there was no sense dwelling in the last quarter, and noted that there was one fewer pay-per-view and that WrestleMania 29 was the highest grossing and second most profitable, even though it didn't do as well as they expected. He touted the success of Total Divas, which broadens their opportunity.
McMahon noted that ratings have stayed "about the same" while the audience has been increased 10%. He mentioned the Flintstones animated movie, and touted their partnerships with Bridge Direct, Fruity Pebbles and K-Mart. He said that they are a safe environment, which is good for sponsors. He mentioned Kraft and Doritos.
Attendance was about the same as last quarter, McMahon said. He also touted the success of the App, and noted how interactive it is.
He noted their international deals and domestic deals and how they have always been undervalued, and he said that will no longer be the case.
McMahon discussed the opening of the Performance Center, and how it should attract a lot of new talent. He once again called Q2 "a lousy quarter."
George Barrios then took over the call and said that investments in content and having one fewer PPV affected the last quarter. He noted that their social media followers has reached 176 million. He then went over the presentation, which you can download here. We will resume our live coverage with the Q&A.
The Q&A section started:
* All options are still open for the WWE Network. Vince said that rights fees coming up could be tied into the Network.
* When asked about attendance being down slightly and ticket pricing going up, Barrios noted that lower priced tickets have stayed the same while premium pricing is up, so they don't feel they are pricing fans out of attending.
* A caller thanked the company for the success of The Call after "a drought," and asked about their thought process with the films division. Vince noted they are more selective and that they are partnering with studios to minimize risk. Vince said that some of their stars (Cena, Orton, Miz) can headline a film, but will have supporting roles in major theatrical releases.
* A caller asked how they don't double their contracts with USA Network and Syfy when their contracts are up next year, considering some of the ridiculous rights fees lower rated sports are getting. Vince agreed with the caller, and hopes that they can double their current rights fees.
* Barrios noted that profits for WrestleMania were down because of production costs in New York and paying certain talent. They wouldn't specify which talent. He said that the event overall was $1 million down from last year.
* Barrios said they are excited about the partnership with Take-Two, and the next couple of years should be better.
* A caller was asked for more details on pay-per-view profits declining. Barrios once again blamed it on the reasons stated earlier, and that there was one fewer event this quarter. All in all, WrestleMania 29 was down about $1 million from last year.
* Barrios said that most of the spending for the Performance Center was in the first half of the year, and estimated that there will be anywhere from 50-100 talents.
* Vince more or less guaranteed that they will increase rights fees or they can put him in a "hammerlock."
* He said that they have been spending about $3 million / quarter on the Network, and that they get closer each quarter.
That was the end of the call.