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Recap of WWE’s second-quarter 2016 earnings conference call featuring Vince McMahon

WWE held their second-quarter 2016 earnings conference call on Thursday, July 28th, 2016 that featured Michael Weitz (Investor Relations), George Barrios (Chief Financial Officer) and Vince McMahon (CEO & Chairman). Here are the highlights.

– The conference call opens with Weitz welcoming everyone to the call and runs through the earnings.

– McMahon got on the call and listed the live event attendance, TV ratings, and WWE Network subscriber count. McMahon brought up the brand extension and was happy with the increase of SmackDown ratings. McMahon thinks that the brand split has brought good competition within the company. McMahon brought up their new TV in China with PPTV and thinks that there is great growth in China.

– WWE Network averaged 1.52 million paid subs, and that is a 25% from the second-quarter in 2015. Revenue was up in the second-quarter by 13% compared to the second-quarter in 2015. “Changes in foreign exchanges rates did not have an impact on revenue or profit,” said Barrios. WWE will have 6,000 hours of content on the WWE Network by the end of 2016.

– Live events were up 15% thanks to international events, and the company did 30.4 million dollars in revenue. Licensing revenue was down 2% with 21.3 million dollars compared to Q2 2015 revenue of 21.8.

– Barrios predicted that the WWE Network would have an approximately of 1.49 million subscribers in the third-quarter which would be a 27% growth compared to the Q3 2015 count.

– Barrios doesn’t expect that the Summer Olympics will affect TV viewership.

– McMahon said that WWE brought back the brand split because of all the stars that NXT had created and stated that they have done the brand split before, and it was a success. The original brand split ended because they didn’t have stars for two brands. McMahon believes that the brand split will bring in more revenue for live events and licensing.

– When asked if their TV deal in China was exclusive, Barrios said that live content has a premium, but it’s not exclusive to PPTV. Barrios said that he doesn’t feel that all 150,000 hours of WWE video archives will be on the WWE Network.

– When asked about the key metrics that they will look for the brand extension, Barrios explained that they would look at ratings, total consumption, and other things.

– A caller asked about how WWE views the UFC sale and if they would ever entertain the idea of a sale. Barrios said that they would do what’s best for WWE and would listen to a potential buyer. “We care about doing what’s best for our audience, shareholders, employees.”

This wraps up the call.

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