Detailed Coverage Of The WWE 2014 First-Quarter Conference Call

WWE held their 2014 first-quarter conference call on Thursday morning, which features Vince McMahon, George Barrios and Michael Weitz talking specific WWE financials. Below are highlights from the call.

– Vince McMahon said that the key metrics, including WWE live events, were basically flat.

– McMahon said WrestleMania XXX is looking good based on the WWE Network count combined with pay-per-views.

– McMahon spoke of the XBOX ONE launch of the WWE Network and noted that smart televisions will be coming soon as well.

– McMahon noted that the company is in the middle of negotiations for India television rights. He mentioned that the domestic television deals will be finalized over the next few weeks.

– Barrios said that the 667,000 WWE Network subscribers translates to roughly $80 million annually, and said it’s more than they generally generated domestically from pay-per-view.

– Barrios spoke more of the WWE Network launch and mentioned an Amazon rollout in addition to smart televisions. He also noted that WWE Tough Enough will be returning as new programming on the Network.

– Corporate and other expenses increased $5.3 million to $37.7 million from the prior year quarter. It was listed as including “corporate overhead and certain expenses related to sales, marketing, and talent development costs.”

– WWE took an $8.6 million loss for the WWE Network launch costs that included customer service, programming and marketing.

– Barrios noted that the company is continuing to negotiate television rights deals in India and the United States. He said because negotiations are ongoing, they would not be answering any questions regarding that subject today.

– Barrios mentioned that the company is planning a WWE Network global launch for later this year. He noted that they also intend to report the subscriber count for the WWE Network on a regular basis.

– Barrios noted that the production costs for WrestleMania are included with the WWE Network financial numbers.

– A caller asked Barrios for a projected subscriber count for the WWE Network in 2015. He declined to comment but mentioned that they are targeting two-to-three million in general, without mentioning how long they plan to get to that point. He did say upon further questioning, however, that the two-to-three million subscriber estimate is just for domestic. McMahon chimed in and noted that the figure is a very conservative estimate.

You can read the full press release with all of the quotes and exact figures at 4-Traders.com.

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