by: Mitch Nickelson
While I am quite the wrestling nerd, I am also a nerd in another field…economics. It’s not too often that the worlds of Vince McMahon and Ludwig Von Mises overlap, but it does happen about four times a year. What are this glorious event called? Say it with me now…
WWE Quarterly Earning Results Press Release and Conference Call!
I said that alone, right?
Anyway, today was the day that McMahon and company reported the financial mumbo-jumbo (that’s the official economics term) to all of those tycoons on Wall Street trying to make it rich off of the pro-wrestling stock exchange. How did the company fare? Here are some highlights, thanks to SEScoops.com…
– WWE Network had 700,000 subscribers as of June 30th, a net addition of 33,000 subscribers. They gained 161,000 new subscribers and lost 128,000 during the second quarter .
– WWE Network will be introducing a new payment plan structure later this year. You can still pay $9.99/mo with 6-month commitment, or pay $19.99 month-to-month at $19.99. The monthly plan is still an excellent value for fans who want to buy pay-per-views ala carte without a 6-month commitment.
While the company is in no danger of going under, investors are seeing lackluster results from a massive push to launch the WWE Network. Titan Towers is still making buckets of money off of the 700,000 subscribers, but that seems like quite a let-down to the 1-2 million signups that were foolishly predicted earlier in the year. Who exactly is missing the mark so badly in the offices of WWE?
As the numbers seem more and more blasé, WWE has been slashing unnecessary costs to the bone. Both Fandango and Bad News Barrett have lost their extremely large props in an effort to save transportation costs. Two out of 3MB have been handed their pink slips as well. Sadly, another beloved Superstar was let go over the past day…
That’s right, Ricardo Rodriguez. The man who hit the big-time as Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer. Surely, they’ve taken too big of a risk if Ricardo has gotten the ax? Who’s next, Vince? Will you give Emma the boot (again)? Is Slater Gator safe? (THEY BETTER BE!) Will Jerry Lawler face your wrath? (Actually, I might not mind that one.)
The rumor is that up to 10% of WWE’s staff could get fired in the wake of these numbers. While that’s never good for anyone to lose their job, the WWE has simply taken a business risk and is feeling the tumult of being ahead of the curve. The WWE Network absolutely is the right direction from a financial standpoint and I hope they don’t quit on it. This is forward-thinking and my humble guess is that it will prove to be a bedrock in the future.
I hope I didn’t lose everyone after Von Mises. I realize Austrian Economics and turnbuckles don’t typically go hand-in-hand. Do you think the stalling WWE Network is a good business decision like I do? Comment below or banter with me on twitter @MitchNickelson. Thanks again for reading, folks.