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UPDATE ON WWE TV NEGOTIATIONS, WHEN THEY WILL ANNOUNCE SUBSCRIBER NUMBERS FOR WWE NETWORK AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2014-03-13 11:05:00
WWE's Chief Financial Officer George Barrios gave a presentation Monday at the 26th annual ROTH Conference Monday in Dana Point, California.

During the conference, Barrios announced that WWE would release their first subscriber numbers publicly on Monday 4/7, which is the day after Wrestlemania 30. That's pretty smart as you have to guess that's when they will maximize the numbers as everyone is going to want to watch the biggest show of the year for $10.

Barrios noted the company hopes to announce "our new domestic broadcast partner or continuing on with our current partner" (NBC Comcast) by early May at the latest. Barrios stated that USA has been the number one cable network for 29 straight quarters, "and it's because of Raw."

Barrios noted that one of the negotiating points of their new deal is the window of exclusivity the broadcast partners will have for Raw and Smackdown. The partners obviously want a longer window where it's only theirs while WWE wants a shorter window so they can utilize the material on their own Network.

Barrios pushed that the 90% of WWE material is watched live, which makes them attractive to potential partners and said one of the goals is to get more monetized value out of their ratings. He noted that similar programming, specifically sporting events, get more money for similarly rated programming and WWE is behind the NFL and MLB in getting the most for their ratings. Well, that's where the "stink" of pro wrestling comes back to hurt the company and it's going to be a battle they will have to fight in the next few years if they want to change that.

Barrios described the current TV ratings as flatter than the company would want but said that given the way consumers have changed how they view programming and with an over-saturation of the TV industry right now.