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Here are notes from the WWE Conference call, regarding the WWE Network launch…
* The network will be a premium subscription model and will be distributed by the usual outlets. The research says that this is the best way to go and there is movement on the network.
* The increase in management costs this quarter is due to the staffing of the WWE Network
* They feel that it will take $35-40 million to fully launch the network, which includes staffing and the creation of new programming.
* On the US fanbase they say that there is evidence that 57% of US homes has “an interest” in WWE TV. 10-15 million households watch the WWE regularly. 20-40 million homes are casual fans, with some interest in the product.
* They feel that premium subscription is the way to go with the WWE Network. They are still negotiating, so they will not make an announcement of a launch date at this time.
* Vince is asked about the Network, and possible loss of PPV buys due to that. He says it will not hurt PPV, and they will have models for the network that will include PPV, and one that won’t. It will be an add on to the current product. Vince will not confirm that PPV will be available on the network, only that it could.
* Vince was VERY non-committal to discussing specifics of the network when pressed by a caller. He says it is to not interfere with current negotiations.
* On the research for the network, they are asked what they have to capture for it to be a success. Vince says they don’t need that much for it to be successful. If they capture the hardcore fan, they will be very successful. Vince says he was surprised by the numbers in the study.