Vince McMahon spoke at the annual WWE shareholder's meeting yesterday, and he discussed why the company lost $40 million in revenue in 2011 after having a record year in 2010, what steps will be taken to ensure a stronger 2012 and more. Here are some highlights:
McMahon's guarantee for 2012: There are two things you can't avoid in the world: death and taxes. McMahon said a third will be added, and that was a guarantee that the company will be in stronger shape by this time next year. He said that Raw ratings were up 3%, Smackdown ratings were up 15%, and Raw will be celebrating its 1000th episode this July.
McMahon also noted that there are more opportunities for growth than ever before because of the superstars fitting in various social media platforms better than anything else out there.
WWE CFO George Barrios on why the company lost $40 million in 2011: Barrios claims that $30 million of the $40 million was losses from the film division. The remainder was holding off rights fees of shows outside of Raw and Smackdown. The core business was solid, but those two items hurt them.
Content has also been expanded in 2011, including Tough Enough on USA and exclusive content on their YouTube channel. They will continue to use their library to produce new DVDs and create new shows like Monday Night Wars and WWE Countdown. They currently have over a billion views of their YouTube channel.
WWE's international business: The company broadcasts TV from Mexico and they did events for the first time in Russia and U.A.E. They have secured TV deals in Russia and Brazil and they are looking forward to going to Brazil for the first time.
The action figure brand: WWE was the #2 action figure brand in 2011, with the new video game and the WWE Rumblers action figures attracting younger fans.