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July 30, 2015

WWE Conference Call: Vince McMahon discusses the second quarter financial report

Vince McMahon and members of senior management served as the hosts of a conference call pertaining to the 2015 second quarter financial report that was released on July 30, 2015. The following are the highlights of the call. Refresh the page for the latest updates.

-The call is hosted by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, WWE Chief Strategy and Financial Officer George Barrios, and WWE Investor Relations Michael Weitz. Weitz ran through the legalities and reminded listeners that WrestleMania fell in the second quarter this year, whereas it occurred in the first quarter last year.

-Vince said listeners could see they had a strong quarter. He pointed to improved international numbers and touted the WWE Network subscriber count compared to the same quarter last year. He also hyped the new WWE Network content. Vince struggled to come up with the name of HBO's "Hard Knocks" and said WWE is trying to come up with a better name than that.

-Vince said "Camp WWE" is the WWE version of South Park. He said it's very funny, and cracked that the Mr. McMahon character is especially funny.

-Barrios took over the call and spoke about how WWE is successfully transforming their pay-per-view business into a subscription mode. Barrios ran through the presentation.

-Barrios said the network had roughly 217,000 paid international subscribers.

-Barrios said Too Hot For TV, Swerved, and the Stone Cold podcast are among the most popular programs on the network. He also boasted about the success of the Beast in the East live special.

-Barrios praised the free month campaign. He said one month is the amount of time that subscribers need to become familiar with it.

-WWE plans to release a three-month subscription card that will be sold in retail stores and can be used without offering credit card information.

-Barrios noted that they will not be including an updated subscriber count today. The next subscriber count will be released at the end of the third quarter.

-They opened things up to callers. The first caller noted that they want to produce 180 hours of new programming. He questioned whether there will be increases over their previously listed costs associated with new programming. Barrios said it's materially unchanged.

-A caller asked about new markets getting WWE Network. Barrios said he didn't want to get into specifics.

-A caller asked whether they are making more money with the subscription model than pay-per-view. Barrios said 1.3 to 1.4 million subscribers would get them there.

-The caller asked Vince about the difference between Facebook and Youtube. Barrios said he would take it. He said they have nearly 7 million subscribers on Youtube. He said they are one of the leaders of direct video, and he said they are talking to Facebook and they are in beta mode. "We know how to kill it doing videos, so we're excited about the opportunity," Barrios said. Vince added, "It's a high class problem."

-Vince said they need to develop programming for all four quadrants of their age demographics.

-A caller asked about interest in Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Barrios said they are thrilled with SummerSlam. "It's starting to feel like WrestleMania in August," he said. Vince said it's so strong they moved it to four hours this year. "It's so much great content that we had to do that," Vince said.

-The caller also asked whether they intend to more live specials similar to Beast in the East. Barrios raved about Beast in the East and said they will "continue to more and innovate in that programming because it's just been in a home run."

-The caller asked about developing the NXT franchise. Barrios sang the praises of the brand under Triple H's direction.

-Vince said they are confident with the development of talent from NXT. He spoke about the number of talents going from developmental to the main events.

-Hulk Hogan came up in regards to merchandise. Vince noted that Hogan is "no longer with the association" and downplayed it's "material effect."

-With no additional callers, this concluded the conference call.

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