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MKM Says WWE Network Update Could Be A Multi-Stage Initiative

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MKM Says WWE Network Update Could Be A Multi-Stage Initiative

The relaunch of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc’s (NYSE: WWE) WWE Network is a positive for its direct-to-consumer service and may include a number of changes over time, according to MKM Partners.

The Analyst

MKM’s Eric Handler maintained a Buy rating on WWE with a price target of $110.

The Thesis

WWE Network subscribers started receiving emails this week stating Version 2.0 of the streaming will have a new design, a simpler navigation and smarter search tools.

Handler believes this to be the “first part of a multi-stage initiative” being undertaken by WWE, which would gradually boost demand and “create some optionality with estimates for 2020 and beyond.”

Handler expects the initial update announced by the company to be focused on visuals, rather than including changes to the service. He thinks that over a period of time, WWE Network will be transformed to a three-tiered model, including the standard $9.99 plan, a free tier providing access to a library of clips and some of the service's latest reality programs and a premium tier which will have experiential based offerings.

The free tier would be offered to increase the number of potential subscribers, Handler said. He added that the other initiatives for WWE Network may include more language options, more localized content for international subscribers and download to go programming.

WWE Network averaged 1.688 million paid subscribers in the second quarter.

Price Action

Shares of WWE traded higher by more than 5% to $72.36 Thursday morning following its earnings release.

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Photo courtesy of WWE.

Latest Ratings for WWE

DateFirmActionFromTo
Sep 2019MaintainsNeutral
Sep 2019Initiates Coverage OnOutperform
Aug 2019Initiates Coverage OnBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for WWE
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Eric Handler MKM Partners WWE NetworkAnalyst Color Analyst Ratings Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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