The WWE Network was another major topic during today’s conference call with investors, hosted by Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon and Chief Strategy & Financial Officer George Barrios.
Barrios revealed that they spent over $100 million so far on the Network, $75 million went in the creation of it and another $40 million went on staff hiring and related expenses. While the initial number of subscribers were a disappointment for investors, Barrios said that to reach a stable level it will take up to three years where they hope to have almost 4 million subscribers.
To make up for lost pay-per-view revenue, assuming the Network will cannibalize all PPV revenue, it will take around 1.3 million subscribers and not a million as they stated before. Last Friday’s press release said it was up to 1.4 million subscribers “at a steady state” to offset lost PPV business.
With more subscribers to the Network comes additional costs to run the service, processing of cards, and other costs and Barrios said that when they reach 1.5 million subscribers the cost of running the Network will be almost $50 million.
Barrios did not want to give the subscriber count as it stands today and said they will keep their word that an updated number will be given at every quarter earnings call. When asked where do they see the Network a year and a half down the road, Barrios added that while they have a good idea where they want to be, they can’t give anyone certainty and said every day they learn new things.