WWE held a conference call with investors this morning to discuss the company’s first quarter earnings for 2012 that were reported this morning. Vince McMahon and Chief Financial Officer George Barrios were on the call. Below are the highlights:
- It was announced the company has spent $2.1 million this quarter for development of the WWE Network.
- Vince McMahon said the success of Wrestlemania XXVIII this year compared to years past is due to better execution all the way around. He put over the year long build to John Cena vs. The Rock and said The Undertaker vs. Triple H was for the long-term fans. He said there was something for everyone.
- Vince said any hold-ups for the WWE Network are on WWE’s side and not on the distributors. He reiterated they have discussed traditional and new models.
- McMahon said the company wants to own 100% of the WWE Network and have full control on programming. He emphasized they know their product better than anyone.
- Vince estimated a 3-month timeline in terms of when an announcement would be made regarding WWE Network distribution.
- George Barrios said the company has put aside $15-$25 million for WWE Studios and are working on how to develop and spend the money as they develop new projects.
- Barrios said WWE did around 1 billion viewers on YouTube last year and they made advertisement revenue off those. Google, the parent company of YouTube, is going after original content and now pays WWE a licensing fee for their content.
- WWE Superstars and WWE NXT are being monetized internationally and there is hope to play the shows on traditional networks very soon.