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The 7 - Pro Wrestling - Interesting WWE conference call.
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JimBob Skeeter
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#1 Posted on 15.1.15 1114.17
Reposted on: 15.1.22 1114.36


Stephanie McMahon and WWE's Chief Financial Officer George A. Barrios took part in a WWE presentation on 1/13 in New York City at 17th Annual Needham Growth Conference for investors.

During the presentation, it was stated that the company believes there are 98 million broadband homes that feature WWE fans. The company believes they can convert 3-4 million of those into WWE Network subscribers over time.

While noting they are about to officially launch in Ireland and Great Britain, other countries that were noted that they want to expand the WWE Network into included India, Italy, Germany, Japan, China, Thailand, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

While discussing the company's television, they stated Raw's audience averages 4.6 million viewers a week while Smackdown averages 3 million weekly. They pointed out the increase in TV rights fees with their new deals, noting they have increased from $78 million in 2004 all the way up to $171 million as this past September. All of their major deals are locked up through 2018 and by then, they will be bringing in another $100 million in revenue.

The remainder of the presentation was reviewing the company's presence on different platforms and noting how the company builds brands, including:

*They now own 130,000 hours of content in their libraries.

*The WWE Network went from 1,000 hours of content to 2,500 hours of VOD content since it's launch.

*The big catalysts for future business are the growth of the WWE Network, capitalizing on their social media popularity and monetizing it, their existing and new TV deals and continuing to build their brand.

*They are now available in over 170 countries worldwide with the Network.

*Another goal for the company going forward is to continue improve the WWE Studios film business.

I didn't post this so much about the 3-4 million people they think they can get, (and if they DO get to all those countries, it oculd be feasable), but more about the VOD content. They only allow 2,500 of their 130,000 hours to be available? I've said it many times, if they had AWA on there, I'd sign up for at least a half year, if not more. My five year old is now getting interested in "wrasslin'", and I'd be more apt to show him the stuff I grew up on then the past couple of weeks of Raw. Hell, even the Worldwide stuff with the Von Erich's and Freebirds would be fun.
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#2 Posted on 15.1.15 1136.59
Reposted on: 15.1.22 1142.21
The presentation was done with a variety of dried macaroni products, glue, glitter, and crayons.

What a magical world they live in to believe those numbers are possible. It must be amazing to be able to look at a barge of hot garbage and see a field of unicorns, shitting rainbows.

Those 3-4 million subscribers are global, I assume. But as has been pointed out, several times, those who have high-speed internet and want the WWE Network find a way to get it. Those people are already there. I have a hard time understanding how they can overlook such a major flaw in their plan.

"increased from $78 million in 2004 all the way up to $171 million as of this past September." That's great. I increased from 36 inches in 1982 all the way up to 78 inches this past December. I'm not expecting the future growth that they are, but I'm also not full of shit.
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#3 Posted on 15.1.15 1415.18
Reposted on: 15.1.22 1416.57
Out of that 130k hours of footage, how much do you think is in a digital format and ready to be put online? Digital video is still a relatively new thing. I'd guess they might have, maybe 4k-5k hours of digital content that could be on the network and I'm sure they're working on putting up as much as they can as quickly as they can. Converting all that video into digital is gonna take a lot of time.

Also, you gotta consider that they can't put everything up at once. They need to do it in stages to keep new people signing up. If they give everything all at once, they will have a decent spike in new subscribers, but then they're gonna have a huge drop when those people are finished watching that new stuff and there's nothing else to keep it going. I'm fairly sure that the current product isn't what most people are buying the network for. It's the older stuff. This is pretty obvious with people still paying for the PPVs every month.

I'm also pretty sure they want to keep releasing DVD/Bluray sets of stuff. There is still money in that market and if they give you everything for $9.99 a month, you will be less likely to pay $20+ for the discs. I would assume they are betting they can get you to buy the DVDs AND still pay for the network later on.

3-4 million subscribers really isn't out of the question, but it's gonna take a few years to get there. People are assuming that everyone is tech-savy and know how to cheat the system to get the network, but they're not. Sure, there are a good number of people who can and are getting it now, but what about older people who might not be as computer literate as the kids today.

I bet there is a good number of people waiting for an actual TV channel of the Network, like they have in Canada. In all honesty, I'd pay for the shit today if I could get it on TV and not over the internet. If they set it up like HBO with a set daily schedule and on demand options through a cable company, I'd be more than happy to pay for that. Paying for what they have now... no thanks.

(edited by Cerebus on 15.1.15 1617)
Boudin blanc
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#4 Posted on 15.1.15 1837.11
Reposted on: 15.1.22 1838.16
Are those 98 million broadband equipped households inhabited by WWE fans worldwide? I know the 4.6 million average Raw viewers being touted are US only. (At least, I assume so since 4.4 million watched this week's Raw in the US and I assume there are more than 200,000 people watching it across the rest of the world. From what I can gather, there are nearly that many viewers in the UK alone.)

My immediate question, as an investor, is "If you have at least 98 million fans, why are less than 5 million of them watching your free programming, and what makes you think you could convince them to pay $9.99?"
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