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Earnings Call Recap  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Thu Jul 25th, 2019 07:19 pm
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srossi

 

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PWInsider:

A lot of people have asked me why the WWE stock is today given that the numbers were not great.  Well, they beat earnings so that excites people, even if the overall numbers are down.  I also think that with the new TV money coming in quarter four, some that are already invested in WWE want to wait and see what happens when that money rolls in.  It will be interesting to see what happens when that money comes in.
It was interesting to hear say that earnings are what they are.  Never heard that one before.  Vince talked about the new TV deals they have done.  There is improvement with key metrics, he said, even though the numbers are down.  Interesting how he sees improvement in losses.  He mentioned hiring two new directors for Raw and Smackdown.  He didn't name them, which is kind of odd.  Don't Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff deserve a name check?  I think so.  He said the new hires allowed him to oversee more and get out of the weeds.  He said that is a good thing and we are already seeing results.  OK Vince!
Vince then turned it over to George Barrios.  If you have Mike Johnson's cell number text him so that the dings keep him awake.  I kid George.  
George went right into how they said ratings were down in quarter one due to key people being out.  Well, Raw improved from being down 14% to down 11% with them back!  And they faced a tough game five from the NBA on one night out of the 13!  That is weak reasoning to me.  That doesn't say you improved, that says that even with everyone back, you are still down.
He said that for July WWE is up 1% for ratings vs. last year.  Now you know why we had Raw Reunion the Monday before this call!
Like Vince, George is psyched to be on broadcast TV on FOX this fall.  They should be, it's more potential eyeballs.
George says that they see more subscriber loss coming, so they won't achieve a record this year.  That isn't good.  Again, hearing all this I wonder why the stock is up!
He then talked about the new and improved WWE Network.  They will be adding tiers.  It will be interesting to see if people pay to see the indy stuff.
Michelle Wilson talked about strides that the company has made this quarter, and they did get a lot of things worked out.
George is back talking numbers, text Mike now!  
QUESTIONS TIME!
I hope they make this good!
They were asked about what is going on in Saudi Arabia under the deal and how it's affecting them?  Also what about cash flow.
George said that the Saudi event was in June.  They are assuming that they will do another one this year and sign a TV deal.  That will allow them to hit 200 million.  That is why they keep going over there.  If it doesn't happen, it looks like a loss of 10 to 20 million.  They collected on the April Saudi show in Second Quarter last year.  It will be in the third this year, that is why they are down.  
Will they buy back more shares, since they are priced lower now, as they dropped after the First Quarter call?
They evaluate whether it makes sense or not.  They bought about 12,000 shares back.  To me that means if they aren't buying it back now, they aren't bullish that there will be a big spike in price going forward.  They will continue to evaluate. 
George doesn't discuss ongoing negotiations but he sees India growing over the next ten years and they want to be part of that.  George doesn't want to talk internal data.
We have a Russian on the call!  It's Nikita Koloff.  No, it's not.  
George didn't want to give Vasily any information, and not because he thinks it will get back to Putin either.  I kid Vasily.
Hey, someone name checked Bischoff and Heyman!  Why now? How much power will they get?
Why now, Vince said, is a logical question.  Vince can't be in the weeds anymore.  I didn't know he was!  They are both very competent and they will help the business.  How much latitude?  A lot since Vince can oversee and not get in the weeds.  He likes that term.  Anyway, they will have a lot of latitude but he will oversee.  That says a lot to me.  I hope I am wrong.
With the Network the free tier will be first, probably later this year.  Then the pay tier, then the localized stuff.  Probably all within a year.
Why did they choose the foreign TV partners they did?  They consider reach and economics and make their choices.  They are happy with where they ended up.  But, he can't get into specifics.
Finally someone referenced the state of the product and mentioned Variety's piece.  They were asked to explain why they think they have turned it around.  He asked George about it rather than Vince.  Ugh.
Vince answered about content.  We have definitely turned the corner with the new (again unnamed) directors.  They have spent more time on good characters and storylines.  So Vince thinks things are turned around already.  That scares me.
They were asked if they would get edgier, given their partners.  Vince said that they will get more edgy, but stay PG.  They are not going back to the Attitude Era or Blood and Guts, like a new potential competitor is doing.  AEW CHECK IN THE HOUSE.  They are on Vince's Radar!  They got away from that CRAP!  He said they are hiring better writers for better storylines, with the new great managers.
Will NXT come to a TV network?
George said a lot of words and didn't answer the question.  They are always evaluating the factors.  I take that to mean if NXT gets a great offer, they will be on a Network.  They will not address the rumor though!
How much will FOX be promoting Smackdown?  Michelle took it.  She said they are already promoting it on sports shows.  That will be dialed up significantly in September.  She said that they have put together one of the strongest promotional packages she has ever seen.  They will be promoted in a big way.  That is why I have been saying for a while now that Smackdown will be Raw's equal come fall.  She also expects integration of WWE into other FOX shows, like The Masked Singer.
Vince added that they have been led to believe by NBCU that they will up their promotional efforts as well.
The current India deal expires at the end of this year.  Their Pay deal in the Middle East is done, but the free deal stays in place.
Vince was asked about him saying that the loss of talent was an issue. At what point does Vince decide that hiring writers isn't the answer?  When does he stop spending money to do that, since there is competition all over the place.
He referenced AEW again.  He can't imagine that TNT will put up with the horrible blood and guts things that they are doing.  It wasn't really what she was asking so AEW is definitely on his mind.  He says now WWE isn't one man's vision.  God, that would be great if he meant it.
George said you invest when you think there is upside.  He got her question about competition coming from outside of wrestling.  Vince totally took it to be about AEW.  So again, he is VERY away of Billionaire Shad's money!  George says we keep investing to cut through the clutter.
That was it!
The one thing that jumped out at me?  Vince McMahon is VERY aware of AEW!



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 Posted: Thu Jul 25th, 2019 07:40 pm
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Qaenos

 

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That was really hard to read, but thanks for posting. I wish they could just recap what was said and leave the comments for....the comment section?

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 Posted: Thu Jul 25th, 2019 08:23 pm
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Franchise
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Curious as to what the localized stuff in the pay tier will be.



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 Posted: Thu Jul 25th, 2019 09:52 pm
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carpetbeggar
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Qaenos wrote: That was really hard to read, but thanks for posting. I wish they could just recap what was said and leave the comments for....the comment section?
My head hurts after reading that. I know they want to get it online as quickly as possible, but Jesus, have someone proof read it first. I just shake my head at the term "wrestling journalist".

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 Posted: Thu Jul 25th, 2019 10:08 pm
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Principal_Raditch



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Stock jumped almost 9% today

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 Posted: Fri Jul 26th, 2019 12:03 am
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Echoing above, Mike Johnson (or whomever's) jokes and shit are awful. They should stick to the actual news.



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 Posted: Fri Jul 26th, 2019 12:03 am
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So I read that correctly, the first tier of the new Network model will be free? Wonder what would be included on that.



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"Well, maybe I like the nightlife just a little bit more than I like the damn gym, jack! And when you're makin' $500,000 a year, there ain't no reason to change what you're doing." - Dusty Rhodes, 1/4/1986
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 Posted: Fri Jul 26th, 2019 02:20 pm
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wittman2

 

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Mike Johnson just makes me cringe



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 Posted: Fri Jul 26th, 2019 02:24 pm
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srossi

 

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This was written by Dave Scherer.  Mike Johnson covered the call too, and wrote a very similar piece.  Here is that mish-mash.  It doesn't help that this website takes out all the space breaks when you copy and paste.  I usually correct it manually, which is time consuming, but I'm not doing it for these.  It's too long.

Welcome to PWInsider.com's live, ongoing coverage of WWE's second quarter 2019 earnings call coverage.
Michael Weiss welcomed everyone to the call.  Vince McMahon, George Barrios and Michelle Wilson are also on the call.
Vince said their earnings this quarter "is what it is."  He noted they are close to closing a TV deal in India and did close them in Latin America and China.
He noted the hirings of Executive Directors for Raw and Smackdown, without mentioning names, saying they allow him to deal with long-term storyline arcs and talent development without being "in the weeds" week to week.
He praised the FOX deals that are about to hit.
George Barrios began running down the earnings highlights from the press release.
They began transitioning the new WWE Network platform last night.
They plugged the new season of Miz & Mrs. as well as the renewal of Total Bellas.  They added over 90 hours of new content on the WWE Network.  They had over 200 hours of original content on digital platforms.  They plugged the new Netflix series and the new reality series on Quibi.  They will debut a new talk show on Fox Sports 1 in the Fall and the new A&E documentaries will debut in the first quarter of 2020.
They stated Wrestlemania 35 had over 82,000 fans at MetLife Stadium.
They had over 40 competitors trying out in China last week.  They will run Shanghai this September.
They were asked about what was going on in Saudi Arabia.  Oof, that is a loaded question!  George Barrios said they just did an event in June as part of their ten year deal.    He expected they will do a second event in the country this year and they will acquire a media rights deal there as well.
They were asked about how TV ratings are tracking in India and the overall state of the paid TV market there.  Barrios said he didn't want to get into categorizing discussions that are ongoing.  Their general belief is that the TV sector in India will grow significantly and how they can be part of that.  India is an important part of their localization plan.
They declined to discuss trends for 2020.
They were asked about Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff being hired.  Vince said he can't "be in the weeds anymore" and painted it as hirings that were made so he could free himself up for the big picture while they work on the day to day.  He said they would be giving a lot of latitude and said that organizationally and creatively, this was a huge plus for the company.  They didn't mention the XFL but obviously that will be a factor as well.
VInce said, the hirings "allows me to have a broader view of things and an escape from getting in the weeds.”
Barrios said they were very excited about the new, free tier of the WWE Network.  Localization with different languages for the Network should be done within 12 months.
They were asked about shifting their UK deal to BT Sports in the UK. Barrios said they ultimately make choices based on evaluating the market and potential partners.  They are excited but can't go into details due to confidentiality clauses.
Barrios declined to discuss buybacks on stock.
They were asked about the recent Variety piece on the state of the product.  They were asked about the current on screen product and storylines.    Vince said they have "definetly turned the corner" on content.  The new Executive Directors can give them more depth on storylines and talent development.  It's all good things in terms of a "relaunch" on their content.
Barrios said they were putting so much time and effort into evolving the WWE Network platform that perhaps they didn't see the growth that they usually get around Wrestlemania.    They hadn't done a lot of updated on the Network in recent months because they were focused on building and launching the new version, which they are very excited about.
Vince said the content will be a little edgier, but they aren't going back to blood and guts and the atittude era.  They will be edgier and have a more sophisticated product.  They are not going back to the bloodier stuff that they graduated from.  He noted their new competitor may take that approach, but WWE won't.
They were asked about the potential of NXTM shifting over to television from the WWE Network.  Barrios said that every piece of content, they have to evaluate where's the best place to have that content placed.  You can have it supported via advertising or distributed directly via subscription.  It's a constant discussion and the one they spend the most time on, but they won't comment on NXT directly.
They were asked what type of promotion FOX will be doing to promote Smackdown.  Wilson said they are very excited to partner with FOX.  They are already promoting Smackdown on NASCAR and other broadcasts and that will be dialed up in September.  FOX has put the strongest marketing campaign that she has ever seen.  WWE will be promoted on every sports broadcast FOX has.  They will also be promoted via FOX's entertainment Viprogramming, including integrating WWE into shows they have, mentioning Masked Singer as a possibility.  Given the number of households FOX reaches, they are really excited about it as an opportunity in October.
Vince said that they have been led to believe that NBCU will be pushing Raw harder as they are in a more competitive situation.  Vince said he didn't believe that they could match FOX's plans but they will try.
They were asked about when the current India deals expire at the end of the air.  Their pay-TV agreement has ended but their broadcast agreement is still active.  They also have their digital channels including YouTube for that market.
They were asked about AEW.  Vince said competition is good for everyone but that he hopes they won't continue with blood and guts and can't imagine TNT would want that.

Last edited on Fri Jul 26th, 2019 02:25 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Fri Jul 26th, 2019 03:23 pm
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Principal_Raditch



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Stock up another 4%+ in early trading today

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 Posted: Fri Jul 26th, 2019 04:23 pm
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Franchise wrote: Curious as to what the localized stuff in the pay tier will be.

I think this will probably be geo-blocking. This would allow them to air Raw and Smackdown earlier on the Network than the current 30 day delay. Possibly even live in countries that don't currently have WWE TV deals. 

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 Posted: Fri Jul 26th, 2019 05:11 pm
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Franchise
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Thank you



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 Posted: Fri Jul 26th, 2019 06:46 pm
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Kriss
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srossi wrote: This was written by Dave Scherer.  Mike Johnson covered the call too, and wrote a very similar piece.  Here is that mish-mash.  It doesn't help that this website takes out all the space breaks when you copy and paste.  I usually correct it manually, which is time consuming, but I'm not doing it for these.  It's too long.

One thing you can do here is paste something into the "Quick reply" box at the bottom of the thread. That method doesn't have the space break bug.

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