Vince McMahon is considering major changes in the WWE Network, including selling PPV rights and adding in-app ads.
On the 2019 fourth quarter conference call which took place on Thursday, McMahon and Interim Chief Financial Officer Frank A. Riddick discussed fourth quarter revenue, percentages and other boring business stuff. However, they also talked about the possible future business decisions for the company.
The major news coming out of the conference call was WWE is considering selling or partnering with other major subscription services like ESPN+. When asked to elaborate on this WWE Network selling idea, McMahon explained.
“Well, we have a lot of options,” McMahon said. “We’re going to continue on as we are now with an enhancement of a free tier and a more enhanced paid tier, but we have that as an option. We also have an option — I mean, right now, there is no more better time to exercise the selling of our rights to all the majors, and quite frankly, all the majors are really clamoring for our content. So that could be a significant increase, obviously, in terms of revenue.”
Is WWE Actually Entertaining Offers?
McMahon added later in the call that if they do decide to sell the Network or certain content, it would be announced in the first quarter. He wanted to stress how far along the negotiations are.
The subscription numbers are up and down for the Network, with a 10 percent decrease for the fourth quarter which they expect to turn into an increase for the first quarter of 2020. It would be dumb to not consider offers from buyers. The name or names of companies who made an offer was never announced, but the Network could bring in a lot of money if it was picked up by ESPN+ or another subscription service.
Anyone could make an offer, but whether or not it is seriously considered is a different story. McMahon never said he was considering the offers; only that he was receiving them, which is a good way to create extra interest for investors and that is what this conference call is all about.
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