Hello there my friends. Hope it was a great week for you. I'm filling in for Andrew, who didn't have time to write the Friday Headlines this week. I only have about 30 minutes to do this because it's such a busy day for me. I should note too that I don't know who made the image used for this post, but I think it's excellent.
There's not that much in terms of major news, so the main focus will be on the latest WWE conference call regarding 2013 first quarter (that means first three months of the year) results. It was held on Thursday where WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, WWE CFO George Barrios and WWE Investor Relations Michael Weitz spoke to shareholders.
Here are some details from our friends at ProWrestling.net. I'll put the notes in bold italics while my smartass comments follow in regular font.
Vince said they had seven new talents appear at WrestleMania 29 and said it's important to build new stars.
The three biggest matches featured The Rock, Brock Lesnar, Triple H, Undertaker and John Cena, all of whom are over 35 years old. It is important to build new stars. So where were they? The 7 new talents I found were the three guys from The Shield, Ryback, Big E Langston, Fandango and Zeb Colter, who is 63 years old.
Barrios noted that buys for the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber pay-per-views were up 17 percent compared to the same events last year. He also stated that there was a five percent increase in the average revenue per buy due to the higher price charged for the HD pay-per-view feed that many cable and satellite providers charge.
Translation: "We're really happy that The Rock came back to work for us." Money wise they actually did about the same business because of salaries and production cost, but it's a good thing that more people watched the shows.
WWE generated a loss of $5 million in the quarter. The movie Dead Man Down was a bomb, but Vince noted the success of The Call earlier in the conference call. Barrios said it generated $5.7 million profit on just a $1 million investment.
End the movie business. It's not profitable overall. And we don't want to see crappy movie trailers on our wrasslin' shows.
Barrios said that a pay version of the WWE Network could attract between two million and four million subscribers.
"Could" does not mean "will" in this instance. I think it's great to be optimistic. But is it realistic? Not sure.
The caller asked for an update on the WWE Network. Barrios recalled saying that they are out of prognostication business. He said they have the content in place and are negotiating with providers, including a couple of international providers. Despite saying they would not give a timeline for the WWE Network, "by the end of 2015" was listed as a potential timeline.
"By the end of 2015" is certainly a lot later than 2012 that they mentioned in late 2011. Want a video reminder?
Don't get me wrong. I want WWE Network. I would love it. But I am not optimistic about it happening any time soon. Also 2015 is a long time from when they started mentioning the thing. I think they jumped the gun on that viral video don't you? Moving on.
Barrios said the Yahoo deal will start in the third quarter. He declined to say how that affects what they do with Youtube.
Translation: "No more Youtube deals." I'm fine with it. Yahoo's a powerful company and I actually like the deal they have in place with them. Sounds good for both parties.
The caller mentioned the new "Total Diva" show for E! Vince McMahon said the show appeals to women on a network that appeals to women. Vince said it's an advantage to be able to have shows on other network and it points back to WWE, which helps the network.
It does help WWE to be on other networks. Aside from The Soup, I don't think I've ever watched anything on E! before. I'm proud of myself for that.
That's it for the conference call. I've always said that I should write a column really looking at WWE's financial numbers closely because I'm a Business Administration grad, but that would require far too much effort on my part. I'm too busy to put in effort too!
IN OTHER NEWS
- Yesterday was The Rock's birthday, so whoever runs Vince McMahon's Twitter account sent out this tweet:
I have two thoughts:
1) Vince is such an ass kisser.
2) It was the first Tweet from Vince's account in nearly a month.
Is it really newsworthy? Of course not.
- The Rock is adding even more work to his busy schedule. The Hollywood Reporter reports that he will be heavily involved in a new HBO show along with Mark Wahlberg. If you would have told me 16 years ago that the smiling punk Rocky Maivia and porn star legend Dirk Diggler would become business partners I would have said that's highly unlikely. But here you go. And if you haven't seen Boogie Nights you should because it's awesome. Kids, wait until you're 18.
- In "Damien Sandow is the greatest" news, here's a fun item from WrestlingInc.
The dark segment after last night's WWE NXT TV tapings saw Damien Sandow host a talk show called "The Damien Sandow Show." His special guest was John Cena. Cena and Sandow joked before Cena declared he would retain the WWE Title against Ryback at Extreme Rules.
Jim Ross tweeted about the segment:
"@JohnCena & @TheDamienSandow entertaining as hell on 'Damien Sandow Show' here @WWENXT tonight. #betterthandancing #tugofwar Sandow sings"
Hey WWE, next time you want to waste our time with tug of war or dance off competitions, rip up the script. Insert the "Damien Sandow Show" because that is guaranteed to be great.
- Lastly, here's Booker T talking to WrestlingInc about his fight with Batista in the locker room about six years ago. Basically Booker kicked his ass. Soon after, the story goes that Vince McMahon put the World Title on Booker because he was impressed by his toughness. As somebody that really likes Booker and isn't that fond of Batista, I was happy that Booker kicked his ass.
That's all for me. It's my Easter weekend this week since I'm a Greek Christian Orthodox, so I'm looking forward to a feast on Sunday since I'm on a no meat diet this week. You don't care and that's fine. I still love you.
I'll be back on Monday for my regularly scheduled Headlines day. I may even have a column up before then too.
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