Thursday, March 05, 2015

Latest Articles, Demand at $9.99 and WrestleMania

It's been a few weeks since I gave a round-up of all of the pieces I've been publishing:
Obviously, Wall Street's reaction to WWE potential with WWE Network subscriptions has been very positive. The stock price has shot up more than four dollars from $12.76 (2/5) to $17.15 (3/5).

Yesterday, I looked at the "demand curve" for non-WrestleMania WWE PPVs if the price was dropped to $9.99. I used the last 13 fiscal years of data, but as a discussion with Keith Harris pointed out, if I drop FY2002 (which was the tail-end of the Attitude era), the projected demand drop from nearly 2 million to only 642,000. (Considering that WWE had over 700k paid subscribers for Q3/Q4 2014, it demonstrates just how "rough" this analysis really is.)

As for what's going to happen at WrestleMania for WWE Network subscriber levels, it's anyone's guess (and honestly, at this point that's what you're getting- a guess). On 2/20, I did an informal twitter poll  and came up with:
@mookieghana: So far, the average of responses has been 1,265,000 subs for WM. 10% buffer puts it as high as 1,391,500 subs and low as 1,138,500 subs.
Over on Seeking Alpha, Steven Borovay has been writing lots of articles about WWE. He published an article on March 2 which came up with estimates of between 1,167,848 to 1,335,048 for WWE Network subscriber count as of 3/31/15. Looks like we're both in the same ballpark. He assumes that there will be another Free promotion in May (I have my doubts) and that foreign expansion with drive additional growth (I am also skeptical unless a market like Germany or Italy adds OTT availability).

WWE certainly wants to announce as high a number as possible for 3/31 to impress the market, but it's very questionable how they intend to stem the loss of large quantities of subscribers in April/May/June. Until I see a quarter where there isn't massive churn, I am not convinced that just dropping the six-month commitment was sufficient in placating subscriber uneasiness. 

What are you thoughts? Hit me up on twitter (@mookieghana) or email (!

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