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WWE BIZ: McMahon conference call news - third hour of Raw, increased social media use "in the next couple of weeks," Rolling Stones, Studios, BCA

Nov 1, 2012 - 11:14:28 AM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

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WWE's quarterly conference call with investors mainly focused on future plans for WWE Network. The following are additional highlights from the call, which was hosted by WWE CEO Vince McMahon and WWE CFO George Barrios.

-- Despite sagging ratings during the final hour of Raw each week, McMahon said the "third hour of Raw is doing extremely well," which Barrios later clarified is the additional hour of Raw slotted in the new first hour.

Adding in a second new prime-time hour of TV with "Main Event," Barrios said WWE is "really happy with the economics" and they feel good about "Creative and economics on the new shows."

Adding in the new "Saturday Morning Slam" show and YouTube programming, Barrios said WWE will have about 87 hours of original programming in the fourth quarter 2012 compared to 52 hours in Q4-2011.

-- McMahon stressed that WWE will push forward with social media initiatives and will expand their use of the new WWE App during TV shows. "Social media is through the roof; it will continue to be through the roof," McMahon said, without providing numbers.

"Probably in the next couple of weeks, we will make it interactive in a way that no television show has ever been interactive," McMahon said. "It will be revolutionary in the amount and how we do it."

-- Looking at the two extremes of WWE's audience by age, McMahon said they will be reaching out to an older audience by promoting the "Rolling Stones" PPV in the fourth quarter and Mattel is "really, really happy with sales" of the new Brawlin' Buddy toy line thus far.

-- WWE is also looking to expand their audience reach to "young, family viewers" with the Scooby-Doo movie in 2014 and ABC Family movie starring The Miz in late 2013.

Also related to the movies division, Barrios said the DVD re-release of "No Holds Barred" has exceeded small expectations and they expect final profit to be $300,000. Meanwhile, "Barricade" met expectations.

-- During his opening remarks, McMahon made a comment about WWE's Breast Cancer Awareness initiative that came across exploitative. McMahon said the push "gave us a different audience completely." McMahon added that it was "a way to spread the word about WWE in a much different way."


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