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October 29, 2015

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

Vince McMahon and members of senior management served as the hosts of a conference call pertaining to the 2015 third quarter financial report that was released on October 29, 2015. The following are the highlights of the call.

-The call is hosted by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, WWE Chief Strategy and Financial Officer George Barrios, and WWE Investor Relations Michael Weitz.

-Vince touted the successful quarter and touted some of the WWE Network content. He said the NXT live specials do extremely well for them. He also spoke positively about the Best in the East special and the MSG special.

-WWE Network will launch in Japan and Germany in January.

-Vince said WWE Network is the most viewed channel on Youtube. He said that's "really important for us."

-Barrios read through the financial presentation, then opened up the line for phone calls.

-One of the themes Barrios emphasized was what WWE business would be like if the network grew at the same rate as Netflix. He was quick to point out that he wasn't forecasting that.

-Barrios said they like the $9.99 price because its easy to message and understand. He pointed to Netflix having difference price points. He noted that they could eventually do the same, but it did not sound like anything is imminent.

-A caller noted that only 10 percent of the network viewership is geared toward new programming. She questioned whether they are considering whether to scale back on the new content. Vince said they always look at the data. He said the percentages are misleading because you need to be able to drive people to the network. He said once you are in the network it is so deep with all sorts of video on demand content.

-The same caller brought up Youtube channel pay. Barrios acknowledged that if you're going to be on Youtube, then you have to be on the pay tier. Barrios acknowledged that there's a balancing act when it comes to what content goes where.

-The caller brought up WWE Network advertising. Barrios said it has a light touch and they will learn as they go.

-Barrios said there are different views within the entertainment industry as to where to put their content. He essentially said they don't know where it's going, so they are being diverse when it comes to the platforms.

-A caller finally brought up television ratings! Barrios said they don't just think about one metric, they think about all of them together. He said that when you put them all together they are bigger and more engaging with their product than ever before. He conceded that you don't want to drop and they are working to change that. He said he thinks the content is great. He said he thinks they are doing well compared to everyone else. Barrios said the ratings for WWE programming is significantly better than the overall USA Network and Syfy ratings.

-Barrios noted that they want to increase the network's VOD because people enjoy checking out the company's history.

-A caller asked about the Tapout relationship. Barrios said he wouldn't be making any news today, but he said he would save the caller a couple items.

-A caller asked about the WWE audience in Germany, and launching WWE Network in China. Barrios mentioned their television partners in Germany and said it's the first time in a long time they are not on a pay tier. As for China, he said it's a dynamic market. He said they've had an office in Shanghai for some time and they plan to increase the number of people in that market.

-The caller brought up the success of NXT and what opportunities are available for it. Barrios said NXT is a great example of the power of Youtube and Facebook. He said they attribute a lot of the growth of the brand to the power of social media. Barrios said NXT competing with Raw or Smackdown doesn't enter their minds. He said NXT has a different vibe and a different feel and a unique audience.

-They closed out the Q&A and ended the call.

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