WWE Conference Call Recap with Vince McMahon – Brand Extension, WWE Network, Sale, More

WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, Chief Strategy and Financial Officer George Barrios and SVP Financial Planning & Investor Relations Michael Weitz are hosting a Second Quarter 2016 earnings call today from WWE headquarters in Stamford. Below are highlights:

* Weitz opens the call and welcomes everyone, then gives the introduction

* Vince says they are pleased with the execution of their strategy when it comes to optimizing the value of their content. He touts record revenues announced this morning. He brought up the brand extension and touted the high rating for the WWE Draft. Vince says the brand extension is working extremely well right now and touted the competitive nature of RAW and SmackDown. He’s really proud of the 7.7 billion video views on social and digital platforms for the first half of the year. Vince says people are watching and enjoying them, whether it be on traditional TV, the WWE Network or other platforms. He also commented on the new TV deal in China, saying they are proud of that and hoping for a lot of growth there. Vince hands the call over to Barrios

* None of the growth from last year is being credited to WrestleMania 32, which fell in this quarter. Slides showing separate breakdowns with and without WrestleMania numbers were included for investors

* WWE Network launched in 6 new countries in the past year and revenue was up $7.7 million from this time in 2015

* They confirmed that they have purchased the building that houses the WWE TV studios in Stamford. The purchase will be completed next quarter

* Now it’s time for questions

* Regarding why they did the brand extension, Vince said they have a plethora of talent due to Triple H’s influence in WWE NXT and the Performance Center. Vince said you can’t just exploit all that intellectual property when you have it, so they went with the two brands. He says this allows them to have more pay-per-views, more live events and more income. He also touted more talent personalities, which opens up the door for more licensing opportunities. He called it a really big move on revenue and the brand in general

* It’s too early to tell if the brand extension is increasing Network subscription but they are excited about the split and hope it will improve business all across the company

* They have 150,000 hours of content on the WWE Network but aren’t sure if all 150,000 will ever be available. They will have 6,000 hours of content on the Network before the end of this year

* Regarding a possible sale of the company, Barrios said they are always open to listening to ideas if that’s what is best for fans and employees

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