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WWE NEWS: WWE files Network document - target subscription base, 2014 earnings decline?, effect on PPVs, more

Jan 9, 2014 - 9:02:06 AM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

WWENetwork_2.jpg



WWE filed a WWE Network-related document with the SEC on Thursday. In the filing, WWE management described their belief that the Network will "provide significant earnings potential" for shareholders.

Additional business/financial information released in the SEC filing:

- From the filing: "The launch of the network represents a key element of the Company’s 2013-2015 business plan, which was designed to achieve significant earnings growth. Management maintains its expectation that the planned network will contribute to potentially doubling or tripling the company’s 2012 OIBDA results of $63 million by 2015."

WWE believes they can achieve a "steady rate" of 2-3 million subscribers. Priced at $9.99, WWE says this would deliver additional revenue of $225-350 million and earnings of $50-150 at the steady rate.

To achieve this long-term "steady rate," WWE believes they will have 1-2 million subscribers by the end of 2014.

- The potential downside of the online-distributed Network is "potential pay-per-view cannibalization." WWE said PPVs will continue to be distributed through traditional means, but they run the risk of being bounced from certain providers.

"Although we will continue to offer our pay-per-view events to consumers on an à la carte basis through current providers, there is risk that not all providers will continue to transmit our pay-per-view programming," WWE stated.

- WWE expects earnings to dip in 2014. "Although these initiatives hold significant potential, our financial performance for 2014 could fall within a wide range of outcomes depending on the rate of subscriber acquisition for the network, potential pay-per-view cannibalization, and the outcome of our content negotiations," said executive George Barrios.

WWE further explained that "the initial ramp in subscribers and revenue is not likely to be sufficient to offset both the foregone pay-per-view revenue and the incremental, direct expenses associated with a network launch." Costs identified include programming, marketing, customer service, and content delivery costs.

- Long-term, WWE believes they could double or triple the 2012 earnings of $63 million by the year 2015 if the Network catches on.

[ LINK: Corporate Filing HERE ]


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