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WWE Network pontificating


Fat Spanish Waiter
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To add on to the above, the new TV deal and the new network are going to be gigantic. WWE stock is double where it was a year ago. That's such a huge sign that big-time investors really have a lot of confidence in Vince's ideas going forward. The guy is an insanely talented businessman.

Direct TV can cancel the PPVs if they want. That's just more subscriptions to the WWE. Comcast-NBA doesn't care because they have the programming that will dwarf the PPV sale shares they would get. 

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Guest Newbury

 

If 1M is the TOTAL they need, including foreign subscribers, then yes, I think there's a chance they can hit 1M once it launches outside the U.S. I don't think it's guaranteed, but it's possible. Domestically though, the numbers just aren't there.

 

So, are you not taking into consideration the possibility that they'll get purchases from people who did not buy Wrestlemania or factor into that RAW rating each week? That would seem to be a pretty massive chunk of folks to exclude in saying the numbers just aren't there.

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You misjudge your fans cravings for more deep insights into UFC buyrates. Next time I want seperate posts for both the geomean AND arithmatic mean.

I reread that conversation the next day and I was still blown away by stupid he was.

 

 

Yeah, well, I'm a racist.

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To add on to the above, the new TV deal and the new network are going to be gigantic. WWE stock is double where it was a year ago. That's such a huge sign that big-time investors really have a lot of confidence in Vince's ideas going forward. The guy is an insanely talented businessman.

 

 

I was with you on your post before this. However, a stock's run up or drop in price doesn't mean a thing regarding "big-time investors," especially as only 40% of their total float is owned by institutions. Without getting into financial theory here (and run the risk of boring FSW even more) , value is supposed to determine price, your logic has price determining value. As I said before, the current price basically has the market pricing in a triple to quadrupling of the TV fees. That's quite a gamble. Vince is a great wrestling promoter, but he's no Immelt.

 

 

 

If 1M is the TOTAL they need, including foreign subscribers, then yes, I think there's a chance they can hit 1M once it launches outside the U.S. I don't think it's guaranteed, but it's possible. Domestically though, the numbers just aren't there.

 

So, are you not taking into consideration the possibility that they'll get purchases from people who did not buy Wrestlemania or factor into that RAW rating each week? That would seem to be a pretty massive chunk of folks to exclude in saying the numbers just aren't there.

 

 

I said in my very first post on the matter that there's obviously people who don't watch RAW or order WrestleMania that will still buy into it. But I would hardly call that a "massive chunk," there's only so many ex-WCW/current TNA/IWGP/whatever fans out there in the U.S. They would have to number into the several hundreds of thousands. It's not realistic.

 

Do not underestimate wrestling fans. John Cena's album You Can't See Me sold 143,000 copies in its first week in the U.S. alone. The album cost more than a six-month subscription to WWE Network.

 

Isn't the network $9 a month?

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Guest Newbury

I said in my very first post on the matter that there's obviously people who don't watch RAW or order WrestleMania that will still buy into it. But I would hardly call that a "massive chunk," there's only so many ex-WCW/current TNA/IWGP/whatever fans out there in the U.S. They would have to number into the several hundreds of thousands. It's not realistic.

I think you're underestimating the potential audience pretty significantly. Wrestling did at one point have an audience twice as large (or higher) than currently constituted. Aside from that, Is it really a stretch to say they might get a third of their TV audience to purchase the Network? And, the "or approximately 5x their current PPV base" line I think just doesn't work because it seems to assume it's the same people buying PPVs and doesn't take into account people splitting the PPV costs.

To me, it seems like you're analyzing the numbers based on the idea of only the hardcore portion of the fanbase is going to get this. And, I don't think that's the best way to try and predict numbers when they are very clearly designing this for a much broader audience.

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If the potential audience was that big, then cable providers would've gotten on board in the first place. And yeah, it's a stretch to say that a third of your free TV audience is going to pay for a service when over half of your audience isn't old enough to work.

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Few questions

 

1. Do you think we will get WCW B/C - shows?

 

2. Do you think we will get Shotgun Saturday Night, Old SNME Episodes, Super Astros and all other similar shows

 

3. FCW/OVW?

 

Ok quick video from Mike Cole running through the Network's interface. Looks good. And yes, World Class TV and ECW TV. Not seeing any WCW B/C - shows though

http://www.wwe.com/inside/9-facts-you-need-to-know-about-wwe-network-26175464/page-2

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Guest Newbury

If the potential audience was that big, then cable providers would've gotten on board in the first place.

This doesn't make any sense when talking about how many potential subscribers they'll get to the current format of the WWE Network. I think your numbers actually start to make sense given this line, though. I just don't know if you really adjust for what the differences between a cable Network and WWENETFLIX amount to.

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Few questions

 

1. Do you think we will get WCW B/C - shows?

 

2. Do you think we will get Shotgun Saturday Night, Old SNME Episodes, Super Astros and all other similar shows

 

3. FCW/OVW?

 

Ok quick video from Mike Cole running through the Network's interface. Looks good. And yes, World Class TV and ECW TV. Not seeing any WCW B/C - shows though

http://www.wwe.com/inside/9-facts-you-need-to-know-about-wwe-network-26175464/page-2

 

Not on launch day. But probably eventually.

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If the potential audience was that big, then cable providers would've gotten on board in the first place.

This doesn't make any sense when talking about how many potential subscribers they'll get to the current format of the WWE Network. I think your numbers actually start to make sense given this line, though. I just don't know if you really adjust for what the differences between a cable Network and WWENETFLIX amount to.
If the potential number for subscribers with the current format is inherently larger than the format via cable providers, why did they try doing business with the providers in the first place?
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Personally, I would be shocked if they had any trouble whatsoever hitting 1 million subscribers.

 

I know someone earlier was talking about how most of the non-WM PPV's average around 300k buys, but I think Wrestlemania buyrates are actually a better predictor for the Network. 

 

Wrestlemania buyers are your mix of current die-hards, plus casual fans, plus fans who don't really watch anymore, but buy it because it's Wrestlemania.

 

If 1 million people paid to watch Wrestlemania 29, I don't see why 1 million people wouldn't pay to see Wrestlemania 30 for the same price, plus EVERYTHING else that comes with the Network. Even on a conservative estimate of let's say, half of last years WM buyers opt for the Network this year, that's still 500,000 people.

 

That isn't even factoring in the countless number of non-WWE wrestling fans, or fans who don't watch wrestling anymore but want access to a digital archive of WWE/WCW/ECW. That also isn't even factoring in the amount of people who stream these PPV's for free who may choose to just pay the small Network fee to do so now.

 

I don't see them having any trouble hitting 1 million and doing so fairly quickly.

 

The WM buyrate should NOT be the comparative figure being used here. You're right in that WM has that type of mix of viewership, but it's also a one time cost, in contrast to the recurring monthly charges of the Network. The costs may be the same, but the difference in payment affects consumer decisions. Also, whereas a bunch of people will gather at a certain location for WM, be it a bar or the friend with the 60 inch LED, people aren't going to be gathering around an iPad to watch Nitro from 1997 (yeah they could always Chromecast it, but that's a percentage of a percentage we're talking here).

 

And again, by saying "I don't see them having any trouble hitting 1M and doing so fairly quickly," you're implicitly stating that over 5X the typical PPV viewership, and a THIRD of RAWs total audience (which they watch for FREE) is going to sign up for this? I'm sorry, but I don't believe that's realistic at all. Until this expands internationally, it tops out around 500k. And that's being optimistic.

 

 

I think the recurring cost is more likely to cause people to want to buy it rather than the bigger lump sump all at once. Billions of Americans are knee-deep in credit card debt because they bought stuff they couldn't afford, all because they thought they could pay it off later. If people can get a deal like this and only have to pay $10 up front, they're going to jump all over it.

 

As for the 3 million people who watch RAW, I think we're doing a disservice being so married to that number. Nielsen numbers have a lot of inaccuracies. I watch RAW every week and I'm not a "Nielsen family". I've got about 6 friends who are still die-hard fans who watch weekly and aren't part of a "Nielsen family". Nielsen, like PPV buyrates obviously, also doesn't factor in how many wrestling fans are gathered around a TV watching together. We also don't know how many people stream RAW weekly for free, or who watch it on Hulu or watch clips on YouTube. All that taken into consideration, I would say there's a lot more than 3 million weekly viewers of RAW.

 

How many? I don't know. Point being, there's literally millions upon millions of people who currently watch wrestling religiously, kinda watch wrestling sometimes, or don't watch wrestling anymore but used to be die-hard fans. Again, I don't see much of an issue for WWE getting one million of them to buy the Network.

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Few questions

 

1. Do you think we will get WCW B/C - shows?

 

2. Do you think we will get Shotgun Saturday Night, Old SNME Episodes, Super Astros and all other similar shows

 

3. FCW/OVW?

 

Ok quick video from Mike Cole running through the Network's interface. Looks good. And yes, World Class TV and ECW TV. Not seeing any WCW B/C - shows though

http://www.wwe.com/inside/9-facts-you-need-to-know-about-wwe-network-26175464/page-2

 

I think we get B-Shows eventually but I'd wager that the first year of the On Demand library will be focused on the two "Golden Ages". So, we've got all Attitude Era Raws and Smackdowns and I'd bet that Nitro and Thunder will be the next thing added. Really, the B-Shows and the super obscure shows like Excess and Confidential will be the last on their pile, I'm sure.

 

As for FCW/OVW, I think there's an audience for a "Before they were famous" type show amongst the actual scheduled programming where they show matches from Cena, Lesnar, Orton, Batista, Punk etc from the development territories but not the full archives. Maybe if this thing becomes a resounding and unbelieveable success, then they can begin to put the crazy stuff that only a small portion of the audience are going to splash out for. And by that, I mean every single Mid-South arena show that they have in that library.

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Of course Nielson's are faulty, but it's the best quantitative measure out there, and it's what advertisers use to negotiate rates. Just because you aren't a Nielson family doesn't mean you're not included in the numbers, and personal anecdotes are meaningless, no offense.

Best part about this is as a publically traded company, we'll find out sooner than later how the numbers add up. And if they decide not to release subscriber numbers, well, we know what that means.

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I hope WWE really puts an emphasis into original programming. A lot of what they previewed at the press conference is just kind of spliced together highlights with old interviews. That stuff is fine, but I think there's a lot of potential for stuff like, for example, say ESPN 30-for-30 style documentaries on various wrestling stories.

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Guest Newbury

If the potential audience was that big, then cable providers would've gotten on board in the first place.

This doesn't make any sense when talking about how many potential subscribers they'll get to the current format of the WWE Network. I think your numbers actually start to make sense given this line, though. I just don't know if you really adjust for what the differences between a cable Network and WWENETFLIX amount to.
If the potential number for subscribers with the current format is inherently larger than the format via cable providers, why did they try doing business with the providers in the first place?

Because that's the standard operating procedure? They might not have had the thought to work with MLB immediately? A lot of reasons. Hell, Netflix has shown original content can work in that format since the time they originally looked to start the WWE Network. I'm not going to criticize them for not being immediately revolutionary.

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Of course Nielson's are faulty, but it's the best quantitative measure out there, and it's what advertisers use to negotiate rates. Just because you aren't a Nielson family doesn't mean you're not included in the numbers, and personal anecdotes are meaningless, no offense.

Best part about this is as a publically traded company, we'll find out sooner than later how the numbers add up. And if they decide not to release subscriber numbers, well, we know what that means.

 

Of course it's what advertisers use, but in a situation like this -- I think it's almost impossible to use something like Nielsen, that is so heavily based on estimates, to try to guess how many people will buy this.

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Except from all accounts, it's the providers who didn't want to do business regarding the Network. My suspicion? They know the numbers for WWE Classics, saw this as a glorified version of it, and decided it wasn't worth it. Only after the providers passed did they explore other options.

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Of course it's what advertisers use, but in a situation like this -- I think it's almost impossible to use something like Nielsen, that is so heavily based on estimates, to try to guess how many people will buy this.

That's fine, but you can't use lack of evidence (if that's how you view it) as the basis to prove that they can hit 1M. Hitchen's razor, and all that.

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I get the sense from Dish and Direct that providers don't really want to add anything.  Even something free they'll; drag their feet on.  And they only will if they get the sense that people will be angry about not having it or it would make them look small time because everyone else was.

 

A WWE network does not meet either of those.

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Guest Newbury

Except from all accounts, it's the providers who didn't want to do business regarding the Network. My suspicion? They know the numbers for WWE Classics, saw this as a glorified version of it, and decided it wasn't worth it. Only after the providers passed did they explore other options.

I totally get that they might have backed into exploring other options. But, I think they opened up the content substantially to where it misses the point of the entire thing to call it a "glorified version of" WWE Classics when they couldn't be further apart in terms of what they offer. If they pitched the networks on WWE Classics with a 24/7 channel, sure, I totally get your argument that they are going to struggle to get people to buy in. But, even if they backed into exploring new options, you've still got to analyze based on what they are ultimately presenting and not what they originally wanted.

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I'd imagine that Raw Is Benoit would be another one that doesn't get shown.

 

The x amount of subscribers comment seems an unrealistic way of judging profitability.

 

Let's say they get the 800k-1mill figure to start with largely off 6 month commitment/Wrestlemania coming up only. How many choose to renew after Summerslam? Surely the profitability becomes apparent once the international markets are on board later in the year, and you hold off content to keep the US subscribers on board as long as possible to keep the revenue coming in in the interim?

 

If six month commitments are required, I could see their subscriber base being cyclic, spikes at Mania, decreases slightly after Summerslam. If nothing else, it'd be consistent with the viewer patterns and current ratings anyway.

 

Wonder if PPVs slowly transcend into a Clash of the Champions format as a way of trying to render the necessity for relationships with companies like DirectTV obsolete.

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