During the conference call with investors yesterday, WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon was asked how does he predict this coronavirus will change the business moving forward and how will it effect the operations financially, and Vince had quite a surprising answer.
“Well, firstly I don’t know that we’re going to be in the live event business as we were before,” McMahon responded bluntly. “I think no one can predict what’s going to happen here. We’re ready as if it’s around, but I think that’s one of the things that going forward. I think it’s going to take a while for consumers to want to come out.”
Vince said if there’s anyone who can figure an audience out it’s them. “So we again we’re highly adaptable as you’ve seen through the years, and whatever happens we’re there, and I think that’s going to be more content oriented, heavily marketed, and in terms of not live events but more in terms of programming and social and digital media which are way up, there are a lot of things we can do there.”
McMahon added that he doesn’t consider this a problem but rather an opportunity to evolve, especially creatively.
Vince also admitted that he doesn’t know what a live audience will mean anymore when quizzed about filming at Full Sail with a live audience practicing certain social distancing. He said they could do it eventually, but it would be a challenge.
“Again we’re just waiting for it. Be okay to do that like everyone else is. I don’t know what live audience is going to mean anymore. Obviously, there’s a huge need and want to buy our audience to want to be there like live, and again I don’t know whether it’s six feet apart or whether or not – everyone’s been tested before they come in which you might could be able to do in a smaller arena type thing. If anyone knows how to do it in a safe and exciting way it would be us. Chances are we would be the first ones to do it pretty much like we’re the first ones to do everything else,” McMahon said.