Recap: Vince McMahon on the WWE Q2 Earnings Call

Today marked WWE’s Q2 2019 earnings call. With a lot of information that came out of the call, Vince McMahon participated quite a bit on this call. Below we recap Vince McMahon’s responses to questions asked from the investors regarding the second-quarter results. Here’s more:

Vince McMahon on the WWE Q2 Earnings Call

Vince McMahon opening the call with the major points for the second quarter:

“Good morning everyone, as you know our revenue is $269 million. it is what it is (as he nervously or embarrassingly giggles). We have completed our content distribution agreements with BT Sport in the UK, Latin America fox sports and in china, pp sports. we’re excited about that, we’re excited that they’ll give us the ability to localize content in addition to enhance the content and the ability they have to enhance in a more in-depth capacity. so it’s another way of reaching our audience and reaching a new audience as well. Obviously, there’s India and Mena as well to do and we’re going to be close to announcing those deals soon. there’s an improvement in key metrics over the quarter, with television ratings, live event and digital consumption. one of the things that we’ve done is hire executive directors. One for Raw and one for Smackdown. and in doing so it allows me to look at a longer range story arc standpoint and also spend more time on talent development and not get in the weeds, such as I had to do in the past. That is a REALLY REALLY good thing, for a long term and as well as short term actually, as we’ve seen a big result already.”

“In addition to that, we’re excited about our future. Particularly on Fox when the first week in October we’ll be debuting there. It’s really gonna be awesome. As you know, Fox broadcast reaches 33% more homes than where we are with USA. So, we’re anxious too, and GREAT promoters and, it’s more of a, notwithstanding public companies but it’s more of a family-type situation in which we do very well in, notwithstanding our relationship again with NBCU which is a deeper relationship as well.”

“So in any event, we’re really excited about our future in terms of where we’re JUST so much like another kick-off for us.”

David Karnasky of JP Morgan: “On the appointment of Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman as executive directors can you comment on why now was the right time for this move and just maybe expand a bit on what their responsibilities will be and how much latitude they’ll be given in the process?”

Vince McMahon: “Uh, ‘Why Now?’ question is a logical one. I can’t personally be in the weeds any longer and we have these two individuals who will have a longer range in point of view in a developmental point of view, both of these individuals have extensive backgrounds in quote “the business” from various aspects, and with the organizational aspects that they have in the depth of talent, executive talent, writing talent, which they’ve now will have attract, is really going to be really good for our business, and for how much latitude they will have, that’s you know again, that will allow me to have a broader overview of things and an escape from just getting in the weeds, so again, they’ll have a lot of latitude.”

Ben Swinburn with Morgan Stanley: “Can you spend a couple of more minutes talking about how you see the state of the storylines and the product on the screen currently relative to the past 2-3 quarters moving in the wrong direction, just to see if we can address some of the controversy that’s out there?”

Vince McMahon: “As far as the content is concerned, I’ll address that, we have definitely turned the corner and again as I mentioned, we have executive directors with each brand now. They’re going to go more depth, I think that notwithstanding that we have spent more time on storylines, good ones. And also talent development. It’s a combination of a lot of things, all good things thus far, coming together in what I guess I’d call a relaunch in terms of our content.”

Eric Katz of Wolf Research: “And then uh, just coming back to the engagement a bit more, clearly you’re addressing it head-on with the big hires. Can you talk a little about the intended direction of the content going forward, because if it’s going to be a bit edgier, I’m just kind of curious how your partners feel, especially Fox, because the censors are a bit restrictive for broadcast?”

Vince McMahon: “Um, we’re going to be a bit more edgier but still remain in a PG environment, we just haven’t come anywhere close going into another level, so there will be something we in terms of direction of content, more controversy, better storylines, etc. but at the same time we’re not going to go back to the attitude era and we’re not going to do blood and guts and things of that nature, such as what’s being done on perhaps a new potential competitor. We’re just not going to go back to that gory crap that we graduated from. And again, a more sophisticated product, again, attracting much better writers, better management and things of that nature. I feel really good about it.”

Laura Martin with Needham: “My question to you is, at what point do you decide that investing this extra money and hiring these extra writers actually doesn’t solve the problem because the problem is structurally shrinking that linear platform and the fact there’s just more competitors coming to entertainment programming over the top. So at what point do you stop spending extra money trying to get ratings up because they actually can’t go up, what metrics do you look for?”

Vince McMahon: “Well as far as competition is concerned, the old adage of competition is good for everyone, I think that’s generally the case, although again we’re hoping, to the extent that they are competition that they don’t continue on with blood and guts, and gory things that they have been doing, and which it’d be bad, and I can’t imagine and I can’t speak for TNT but I can’t imagine that they would put up with that, but nonetheless, as far as investment is concerned, into the product and the content, it’s not one of these sizeable type things, it’s just more of a restructuring and more utilization, yes, bringing in new faces new blood who have different kinds of ideas and connections and so forth, and again it’s just not one man’s vision, it’s a combination of what will happen in the future, again I’m bullish on all of that. When you look at, not just television ratings but you know the metrics from social and digital, that really is a new way of promoting notwithstanding the fact that we’re going to continue to build the motherships as they were with Raw and Smackdown, and again, from an investment standpoint, that’s really where you should invest your dollars, but it’s not a sizeable at all.”

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.

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