Saturday, July 29, 2017

Transcript of #WWE Earnings Conference call July 27 2017

Q2 2017 World Wrestling Entertainment Inc Earnings Call
STAMFORD Jul 29, 2017 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc earnings conference call or presentation Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 3:00:00pm GMT
TEXT version of Transcript
Corporate Participants
* George A. Barrios
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. - Chief Strategy and Financial Officer
* Michael Weitz
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. - SVP, IR & Financial Planning
* Michelle D. Wilson
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. - Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer
* Vincent K. McMahon
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. - Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO
Conference Call Participants
* Brandon A Ross
BTIG, LLC, Research Division - Associate Analyst
* Curry Michael Baker
Guggenheim Securities, LLC, Research Division - Analyst
* Daniel Joseph Moore
CJS Securities, Inc. - MD of Research
* Eric Katz
Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst
* Eric Owen Handler
MKM Partners LLC, Research Division - MD, Sector Head, & Senior Analyst
* Evan Todd Wingren
KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Research Analyst
* Jason B Bazinet
Citigroup Inc, Research Division - MD and U.S. Cable and Satellite Analyst
* Laura Anne Martin
Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst
* Michael Joseph Hickey
The Benchmark Company, LLC, Research Division - Research Analyst
Operator [1]
Hello, and welcome to the webcast entitled WWE Second Quarter Earnings. We have just a few announcements before we begin. (Operator Instructions) I'll now turn the call over to Michael Weitz, SVP, Financial Planning and Investor Relations. Please go ahead, Michael.
Michael Weitz, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. - SVP, IR & Financial Planning [2]
Thank you, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to WWE's Second Quarter 2017 Earnings Conference Call. Leading today's discussion are Vince McMahon, our Chairman and CEO; George Barrios, our Chief Strategy and Financial Officer; and Michelle Wilson, our Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer. We issued our earnings release earlier this morning and have posted the release, our earnings presentation and other supporting materials on our website, Today's discussion will include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements reflect our current views, are based on various assumptions and are subject to risks and uncertainties disclosed in our SEC filings.
Actual results may differ materially, and undue reliance should not be placed on them. Additionally, the matters we will be discussing today may include non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliation of non-GAAP to GAAP information is set forth in our earnings release and presentation, which are available on our website. Finally, as a reminder, today's conference call is being recorded and the replay will be available on our website later today.
At this time, it's my privilege to turn the call over to Vince.
Vincent K. McMahon, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. - Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO [3]
Good morning, everyone. We are pleased with execution of our strategy to optimize our long-term value of our content. As you know, revenue increased 8% to a quarterly record of $215 million. And we delivered our earnings results pretty much essentially in line with our guidance. Live event revenue increased to quarterly record of $53 million, which I think is notable. We are reaching 85 million year-to-date with our global attendance up about 100,000. The Network segment reached a quarterly record of $55 million as our WWE network paid subscribers increased 8%. Similar interesting things that we've got on as well is -- there's something called the Mae Young Classic named after one of our more extraordinary female performers of the past. It's one of things that Paul Levesque is putting together for us as he did the Cruiserweight and, of course, all the young individuals who are scheduled to one-day compete for us down at the Performance Center. The Mae Young Classic is really an opportunity to bring up young female performers, which is very -- is vital actually to our overall product, many of the quarter hours you see in television reflect our women superstars. So this is an opportunity, obviously, to grow that base, which we haven't done all that well in the past. Overall, one of the things that I look at as one of my barometers is the overall interest in the product. And for the first 6 months of the year, our digital video views reached 9.1 billion, which is pretty much extraordinary. It's up 18%. Our social media followers continue -- certainly surpassed the 800 million, which again I think is a tremendous indication in the overall interest in our product. That's always been one of my big barometers. Global sponsorship looked pretty good. Its revenue grew up -- grew about 25%. Some of the more blue-chip advertisers have joined us, KFC, Nestlé, AT&T and some gaming partners as well. We have selected Lagardère in terms of our best-in-class marketing agency to help us develop our global sponsorship business. Other notable things going on, we have a live event in Shenzhen over in China on September 17, which is going well and just part of our strategy in China, which looks good to-date. And we localized some of our weekly television shows, which is working out well for us in India and in the Middle East. We will probably continue to do more of that going forward in other markets. When we speak of other markets, we completed a multi-year agreement to televise Raw and SmackDown on SuperSport, which is definitely the way to go, that's Africa's premier sports broadcaster. Those are some of the things that we've got going on among others.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Interesting comments on #LuchaUnderground from Vampiro in 2015

In light of the current Lucha Underground situation, and also looking at the waythe #TurdCutter  Vampiro has treated Taya and others, this is an interesting few quotes from his Facebook two years ago when there was a question about whether Lucha Underground was returning way back then:

"I need to vent, and I hope that the people involved in deciding what's next for Lucha underground read this.I have said many times in my career, that without fan you ain't s--t. Yes, there are big names attached to Lucha Underground. There are a lot of very, very cool people behind the scenes; many of whom I consider friends for life. Some I owe so much to for letting Vampiro live again.
And there are some people, talent, who f---ing suck as human beings. Maybe they are important for this business, I don't know, but as human beings, I can't name names, cause it won't do nothing but cause a rift. But I will say it - you suck. And I am sure there are people who are sick of me, and just don't like me, and I get that, and I don't give a f---. But, together, we are LUCHA UNDERGROUND."

He went on to express some feelings that I am sure many fans and many of the roster can sympathize with during the current situation:

 "We asked for love, we got mad, mad, mad love. Now we are leaving too many people hanging for too long. We are hot. [Lucha Underground] is the s--t. But you f--- around too much, and sooner or later people forget about you."... "LU has made me feel like living again. Like I have a family, a home. And I miss my brothers and sisters."

We will discuss the Lucha situation this week on the Way2Real LuchaKliq party on thursday night, 7pm PT 10pm ET at  

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