News on WWE Network

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
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#1
From Bryan Alvarez
WWE shot a new commercial for the Network this week. No word on when it will air. They also sent out a survey that gives an indication of what direction they're now moving in. Respondents were asked about what price point they'd consider purchasing at and which features (such as access on mobile devices or ticket discounts) would appeal to them. The survey also asked, "As part of the monthly fee, the WWE Network would include 11 of the 12 current WWE pay-per-view events on the network at no additional cost. WrestleMania would not be included as part of the network but could be purchased separately on Pay-Per-View at the current price. If you don't subscribe to the WWE Network, you will still be able to buy WWE's pay-per-view events individually at the current price through your cable or satellite provider. Repeats of current Raw and SmackDown episodes from USA and Syfy will air the next day on the WWE Network." The fact that every PPV outside WrestleMania would be made available to those with access to the Network appears to confirm our report last week that WWE is now looking at an HBO-style pay model for the channel, a 180 from earlier plans. It also makes the venture significantly more risky. As noted last week, there are many in WWE who are unable to find a way to crunch the numbers such that the Network would be financially viable. As an example, WWE made $40 million on PPV last year. If they are putting 11 of the 12 PPVs on the Network, then the Network would have to make at least $30 million per year (taking out WrestleMania and being generous) in order to not lose money. That's on the order of $2.5 million per month. Because the cable companies are going to take a split, it's probably a safe bet to double that number to $5 million to come up with how much the Network would need to make monthly only to offset PPV losses. This number does not include any other associated costs. If we are very conservative and add another $2.5 million in further associated costs bringing the total to $7.5 million, at a price point of $19.95 the company would need a minimum of 375,000 subscribers to not lose any money. Are wrestling fans going to spend $19.95 a month on the Network? At a more realistic $9.99 per month, they would need 750,000 subscribers. Are either of these numbers realistic? WWE Classics on Demand, which features old matches, old TV shows, and replays of modern PPVs, sometimes only a month or so after they air, charges $7.99 per month, and as of last year they only had 80,000 subscribers, and the number was declining. Your average B-show, which would now air on the Network for free, does about 90,000 buys domestically as a base. If you add Classics on Demand subscribers and the PPV domestic base, that's 170,000, significantly below the 375,000 that would be needed at $19.95 (significantly more than people pay for Classics on Demand). You would also have to consider that there is likely a significant crossover between Classics on Demand and PPV buyers, meaning the total base number could be below 170,000, perhaps substantially. All of these numbers in terms of costs are being very conservative, meaning the break-even number of subscribers could actually be quite a bit higher.
One person who contacted us who is in the midst of working on trying to launch a non-wrestling television network noted that "WWE is seeming beyond, beyond ill prepared or realistic at this point." This person noted that the one positive WWE had going for them was that they owned all of their own content and wouldn't have to worry about licensing fees or geographical rights restrictions (The Fight Network in Canada, for example, only owns Canadian rights to certain programs, which is part of the reason it has been difficult for them to attempt to expand into the United States). This person suggested that WWE's best bet may be to try to purchase an already-existing, lower-rated network and attempt to take it over as opposed to trying to build from the ground up. There had been talk in the past of UFC buying G4 prior to the UFC/FOX deal being signed, which essentially turned FUEL into a UFC network.
This looks like a disaster in the making.
There was no real interest from cable providers for a network & Vince will lose even more money for the company if it goes this route
So many will just order the network for RR or SummerSlam & cxl & be pro-rated

Vince should wake up every day & thank Hogan & Austin for the boom periods
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
Donator
Mar 30, 2006
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It would probably be worth the money if only for the PPVs, but it isn't going to work as a premium network. I don't think the numbers are as bad as Alvarez is making them out to be, but it would be a very hard road to go as a premium channel.
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
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838
293
NJ
#3
Alvarez
A big story over the next few weeks will be how Vince McMahon answers questions about the WWE Network at the next quarterly earnings call next Thursday, November 1st. On the last call one of the investors came down hard on him, saying they'd been waiting for news on the Network for months and the company was unable to provide any solid answers. McMahon said there would be news on the next call. We are a week away, and according to sources, there is no more news today than there was on the last call. In fact, George Barrios went public in an interview with Courant.com last week admitting that they still hadn't decided whether to pursue a traditional TV channel, a pay TV channel, or some sort of streaming Internet channel. Keep in mind these are decisions that one would presume would have been made on day one, since the platform is the entire key to the Network. He said they were largely waiting to see if the state of Connecticut was going to grant them financial aid as part of their Next Five company expansion program. I'm not sure that's the kind of answer that investors are going to be looking for. We are told that everyone who has been hired for the Network has been moved to various other departments, mostly TV Production and Digital Production, and that Digital is completely maxed out with about 65 employees. One person noted that absolutely nothing was being done in terms of foreward movement on the Network, but people were being told to continue referring to it in the present tense.
 

Lord Zero

Viciously Silly
Aug 25, 2008
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#4
At first, I thought the title meant that WWE would air news on the WWE Network.
 

Lord Zero

Viciously Silly
Aug 25, 2008
54,168
12,930
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Atlanta, GA
#8
Single Soldier Defeats Entire Enemy Platoon After Getting Second Wind
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
12,813
838
293
NJ
#9
Iraq war settled once Hogan beat Slaughter at WMVII

 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
12,813
838
293
NJ
#10
G-TV was behind the Zapruder film (JFK assassination)
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
12,813
838
293
NJ
#12
Hulk Hogan slammed an 800lb Giant over his head in front of 90,000


oops they already did that
 

Neckbeard

I'm Team Piggy!
Donator
Oct 26, 2011
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#13
They've already spent a couple million on this WWE Network with NOTHING to show for it. They can't even present a concept or like an overview of what this will be.
Will it be on normal cable, a pay channel on a cable service or stand-alone like HBO? Will it even be televised or will it be a streaming and download only service? What if anything will be on television and what if anything will be on the internet?

We don't have a line up. We don't know if it will televise live PPVs of any kind. We don't know what archive footage they would show. The Wrestling House is the only original programming that seems feasible as other suggestions like a Big Show Cooking Show with Big Show and his ex-wife sounds horrendous.

I've heard WWE has spent 26 million so far on this. In the last quarter they spent 4 on WWE Network...and I know NOTHING about what it will be. Imagine if you were a shareholder over this WWE Network shit?

Also, if there is no network, nothing the company does will ever be trusted and the stock will go in the toilet.If they do go all in and risk 100+ million on this and it winds up eating its cock and balls it could
kill the company right now. WWE Network was a total mistake. Just to speak about it was a mistake, but to spend millions with nothing to show for it is disastrous.
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
12,813
838
293
NJ
#14
They've already spent a couple million on this WWE Network with NOTHING to show for it. They can't even present a concept or like an overview of what this will be.
Will it be on normal cable, a pay channel on a cable service or stand-alone like HBO? Will it even be televised or will it be a streaming and download only service? What if anything will be on television and what if anything will be on the internet?

We don't have a line up. We don't know if it will televise live PPVs of any kind. We don't know what archive footage they would show. The Wrestling House is the only original programming that seems feasible as other suggestions like a Big Show Cooking Show with Big Show and his ex-wife sounds horrendous.

I've heard WWE has spent 26 million so far on this. In the last quarter they spent 4 on WWE Network...and I know NOTHING about what it will be. Imagine if you were a shareholder over this WWE Network shit?

Also, if there is no network, nothing the company does will ever be trusted and the stock will go in the toilet.If they do go all in and risk 100+ million on this and it winds up eating its cock and balls it could
kill the company right now. WWE Network was a total mistake. Just to speak about it was a mistake, but to spend millions with nothing to show for it is disastrous.

Shhhhhhhhhh
<insert Don's voice> Vince is a genius

All kidding aside

It "seems" to be an idea that they should have bailed on a year ago once cable providers showed little or no interest.
Vince is stubborn & some times that works for him & other times not

They can't get people to watch a 3rd hr of RAW for FREE, no way people will pay extra or go out of their way for more programming now
 

Neckbeard

I'm Team Piggy!
Donator
Oct 26, 2011
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#15
Well yeah, you've got too much WWE right now as it is. They should be cutting stuff, not expanding

3 Hour RAW
2 Hour Smackdown
NXT
WWE Superstars on the internet
WWE Saturday Morning Slam
14 PPVs per year, some with less than 3 weeks of build and time from the last PPV

Plus, if somebody is a real hardcore wrestling guy apart from just enjoying WWE there is...
A much improved 2 hour TNA to watch
Ring of Honor
All the NWA promotions
Chikara
Pro Wrestling Guerilla
Anything from Mexico/Japan and the lucha/puroresu stuff if somebody is into that...


That is a crazy amount of programming to be bringing to television and the internet to watch. There are weeks during PPV weeks where you could watch 10+ hours of wrestling programming just from WWE!
There is already too much stuff to watch RIGHT NOW and the idea of a premium pay channel with even more wrestling is daunting to me. WWE Network at say, 15 dollars a month, unless I get 6 to 8 B PPVs, is a no-go for me. If the company does go through with the plan to put B lister PPVs on WWE Network why would I or anybody else ever buy a PPV they enjoy that isn't top tier like Elimination Chamber for 40 dollars when they could get an entire month's worth of WWE content for 15 bucks? Without PPVs I don't think I'd get it and I'm a huge wrestling mark but with the PPVs on that channel I don't see how they don't lose money.

Even 10 years ago at the conclusion and wrap up of Monday Night Wars/ECW and WCW invasion, post Attitude Era I wouldn't think that WWE Network would work and I'd be cautious to do it. 2013 is totally not the time to go balls out with WWE. Would you have bought 15 dollar a week WWF Network at a down time like 94, 95? Because I fuckin' wouldn't have.
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
12,813
838
293
NJ
#16
Well yeah, you've got too much WWE right now as it is. They should be cutting stuff, not expanding

3 Hour RAW
2 Hour Smackdown
NXT
WWE Superstars on the internet
WWE Saturday Morning Slam
14 PPVs per year, some with less than 3 weeks of build and time from the last PPV

Plus, if somebody is a real hardcore wrestling guy apart from just enjoying WWE there is...
A much improved 2 hour TNA to watch
Ring of Honor
All the NWA promotions
Chikara
Pro Wrestling Guerilla
Anything from Mexico/Japan and the lucha/puroresu stuff if somebody is into that...


That is a crazy amount of programming to be bringing to television and the internet to watch. There are weeks during PPV weeks where you could watch 10+ hours of wrestling programming just from WWE!
There is already too much stuff to watch RIGHT NOW and the idea of a premium pay channel with even more wrestling is daunting to me. WWE Network at say, 15 dollars a month, unless I get 6 to 8 B PPVs, is a no-go for me. If the company does go through with the plan to put B lister PPVs on WWE Network why would I or anybody else ever buy a PPV they enjoy that isn't top tier like Elimination Chamber for 40 dollars when they could get an entire month's worth of WWE content for 15 bucks? Without PPVs I don't think I'd get it and I'm a huge wrestling mark but with the PPVs on that channel I don't see how they don't lose money.

Even 10 years ago at the conclusion and wrap up of Monday Night Wars/ECW and WCW invasion, post Attitude Era I wouldn't think that WWE Network would work and I'd be cautious to do it. 2013 is totally not the time to go balls out with WWE. Would you have bought 15 dollar a week WWF Network at a down time like 94, 95? Because I fuckin' wouldn't have.
You left out The Main Event (which I heard is pretty good)

I am with you
Some thing to take into consideration
If they do the PPV thing on a "WWE Network" & charge a monthly fee, I think a lot would only sub the weekend of a PPV & then unsub & only be charged a few dollars. I know people that do that with HBO & SHO all the time

I think its Vince ego at this point doing what he can to try & make SOMETHING work. I actually respect that tenacity but (as you said) it seems like he is throwing millions at millions & what stockholder can be happy about that

He does so many smart things business-wise (creatively its a different story) that this really sticks out as a vanity project
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
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#17
At this point I bet they're just running out the clock now. Just release a little bit of bad news at a time to lessen the stock price impact.
 

Neckbeard

I'm Team Piggy!
Donator
Oct 26, 2011
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#18
The stock is only down 65 percent in the past 65 months so that is a good strategy for them. Nothing says "success" like your stock's value being more than halved in 5 years. All the stuff they are doing they should continue to do. Keep pumping out those Released-To-5-Theaters-For-3-Hours "movies" too.

I also don't think 14 PPVs is too many. They don't need to cut them. They need to expand to 2 a month.
 

Lord Zero

Viciously Silly
Aug 25, 2008
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#19
Does the WWE still have 24/7? Why is that not good enough for WWE's needs? On top of all the other shit, a WWE Network just seems redundant.
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
12,813
838
293
NJ
#20
Does the WWE still have 24/7? Why is that not good enough for WWE's needs? On top of all the other shit, a WWE Network just seems redundant.
Yes & possibly as a sign, it isn't doing gangbuster numbers
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
12,813
838
293
NJ
#21
At this point I bet they're just running out the clock now. Just release a little bit of bad news at a time to lessen the stock price impact.
Don, what do you mean exactly? Running out the clock in what sense?
Vince promised stockholders a definitive answer (or close) regarding a plan of action at the next conference call & i think that is n/w
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
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Mar 30, 2006
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#23
Don, what do you mean exactly? Running out the clock in what sense?
Vince promised stockholders a definitive answer (or close) regarding a plan of action at the next conference call & i think that is n/w
Remember the old joke about the guy on vacation and he gets the call saying "your dog is sick", then he gets a call "your dog is really sick", then finally "your dog is dead"? That's what may be going on here. Spread the bad news out.
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
12,813
838
293
NJ
#24
Remember the old joke about the guy on vacation and he gets the call saying "your dog is sick", then he gets a call "your dog is really sick", then finally "your dog is dead"? That's what may be going on here. Spread the bad news out.
Ah ok, maybe you are right. I guess we will get an idea soon
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
12,813
838
293
NJ
#25
It is going to be a premium channel you pay for, but this is the amazing part

Vince said they need to get the 12 million hardcore fans to make it a success. Vince thinks if he puts product on for the older audience they may come back (and pay for a premium network).
They can barely get 4 million for FREE to watch Raw & a lot less for other programs

Vince is officially senile lol