WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer Michelle Wilson, Chief Strategy & Financial Officer George Barrios and SVP Financial Planning & Investor Relations Michael Weitz are hosting a post-WrestleMania 33 conference call today from WWE headquarters in Stamford. Below are highlights:
Weiss opened the call and noted that he would be joined by Barrios and Wilson. No Vince McMahon for this call. Barrios took over and touted the huge success of WrestleMania 33. WrestleMania was a big driver of WWE Network subscribers. The Network now has “nearly” 2 million subscribers. Subscribers are up 11% domestically from the same quarter in 2016.
Wilson took over and commented on how they are pleased with the continued growth of the Network. She used the “super serve” phrase that they began using in the last quarter, saying they continue to “super serve” content like new season of Story Time and The Edge & Christian Show, plus with 205 Live and the WWE UK tournament. Wilson also mentioned the 32-competitor women’s tournament and WWE retaining subscribers through these new forms of content.
They took questions from investors now. WWE Network subscribers were up 23% internationally for WrestleMania season. They get the biggest boost in subscribers by running the free month promotions. The Network subscriber count is 1.949 million with 1.661 million paid. There are 1.452 million domestic subscribers with 1.257 million being paid. There are 497,000 international subscribers with 424,000 paid. They expect 1.63 million paid subscribers in the 2nd quarter of this year.
They had over 130 million social media views for WrestleMania 33, more than double what WrestleMania 32 did. The show also had 18 million social media fan engagements, up from last year as well. WrestleMania was also watched in a record number of homes this year.
When asked about possibly acquiring indie wrestling promotions for the Network, they said they are always looking at “opportunities to super serve” content to fans and will continue to look at that as well. There was no announcement on a new pricing tier.