FloSlam is Suing WWN & Everybody is Nuts

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Rich Kraetsch
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FloSlam is Suing WWN & Everybody is Nuts

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:53 pm

This story is getting out of control.

Here's the latest we know and some tweets/articles that are required reading:

David Bixenspan on the initial lawsuit filing: https://www.fightful.com/flosports-sues ... rds-during

FloSlam no longer airing WWN Events: https://www.pwtorch.com/site/2017/09/22 ... -analysis/

and a tweet from Bixenspan about issues of pay between WWN/Flo:


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thisredengine
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Re: FloSlam Suing WWN

Post by thisredengine » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:07 pm

Former FloSports employee here...

Couple of thoughts...

1. If the allegations against WWN are true regarding false data, that poisoned the relationship from the start. The deal was negotiated based on iPPV numbers that were presented with the expectation that those would be converted into subs. So for argument's sake, if WWN said they do 10k buys a month per EVOLVE event, that's what Flo expected. The site never took off how they expected and at its peak it didn't have close to 10k subs.

2. FloSports' model isn't based on written content. It's entirely event/subscription based. Most sites don't do well in terms of daily traffic numbers. It's why sites such as FloClimbing and FloKO (fighting games) died. They didn't have the events to stream. So by not choosing to air the WWN shows basically ensure that the site dies since people have no reason to subscribe.

3. FloSlam had a ton of potential at first. They were negotiating with ROH, New Japan, CMLL, and PWG. PWG declined because they wanted to stick to the DVD model. ROH was a possible buy out entirely but Flo balked at the number. That poisoned the NJPW deal which Flo would have been the English streamer for. CMLL just never got off the ground. But with the original plan, the site would have been well worth the $20/month.

4. People getting spooked by the $30 change also fucked up the site. That was for new subscribers only but people that reported on the number never said that so that caused a lot of subscribers to cancel.

5. Firing Botter was a big mistake. The site was his baby and never really became what he originally pitched.

6. Firing Toby was an even bigger mistake.

7. EVOLVE/WWN are also in a weird situation. Flo's lawsuit is a slam dunk as far as I can tell. They really did want to settle out of court and renegotiate the deal under more favorable terms. WWN's response is what forced them to go scorched earth.

I'll be checking back in sporadically as I'm about to hit up happy hour but feel free to ask any questions. If I can answer them, I'll get to you when I return.

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stienerontheforklift
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Re: FloSlam is Suing WWN & Everybody is Nuts

Post by stienerontheforklift » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:25 pm

So did Flo really expect to sue WWN and just expect everything to be cool afterwards? Also if Flo got fake data and they knew it was fake from the start, why didn't they just terminate the deal asap? Especially since WWN is the only company they had in the fold. This just seems like the Onita/CZW situation, sleazy going against sleazy.

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Re: FloSlam is Suing WWN & Everybody is Nuts

Post by mlev76 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:00 pm

Two pronged perspective here regarding all this:

1) As a fan and a soon-to-be former Flo subscriber, this series of events over the last 24 hours or so has left me rather disgusted with both companies. But, without knowing the exact details of what the actual claimed statistics were, my instinct is to side with WWN. They were the only thing pushing anyone to Flo and Flo really didn't provide them or themselves with any reason to stay. Beyond Mania weekend, which was great for getting tons of content, it really hasn't fulfilled it's promise. Withholding funds from WWN is a garbage tactic regardless of what statistics were provided. If it was so egregious, then they should have breached the contract and cut it off cleanly. Not airing the shows that people already paid for is also a giant dick move.

2) From the perspective of being a lawyer and someone whose reviewed, negotiated and sued over contracts, I'm really not sure how Flo can justify their claims that they were so egregiously misled. What data did they use to confirm what WWN said? If it was dicey, why did they proceed? What were the comparables? Why are they only now dealing with this and doing so in a very public and nasty way? I'd love to see the complaint to see how this wasn't simply a contract that both sides entered into with greater aspirations/lesser due dilligence and is now blowing up because they didn't look at things realistically.

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Re: FloSlam is Suing WWN & Everybody is Nuts

Post by Hobbes » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:16 pm

What I'm wondering is what was FloSlam's original plan? Was landing at least one or two of the "big fish" of ROH, New Japan, PWG, CMLL,seen as an essential part of it or was that just something they were looking into? What I mean is, from the outside, it seemed like at first FloSlam was negotiating with everybody and acting like everything was possible, and within a very short span of time, all that talk died out and they very quickly became just WWN and a couple other side things. If they counted on WWN to get FloSlam a lot more subscribers, did the initial Evolve numbers cause the Flo purse strings to be tightened? Did FloSlam have any realistic idea of how expensive and tough it would be to sign promotions like ROH, NJPW, PWG, etc? That vision does sound great, but it also sounds very pie in the sky.

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Re: FloSlam is Suing WWN & Everybody is Nuts

Post by armsofsleep » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:14 am

Yeah I'm not sure exactly why they didn't keep trying to expand the library. Why not go after another promotion once the big ones fell through? I mean, it felt like all of their one offs like Beyond didn't work out. But if they were shooting for NJPW and ROH and CMLL, why not try to nab a Japanese indie or a European buzz place like FCP?

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Re: FloSlam Suing WWN

Post by Joe Lanza » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:28 am

thisredengine wrote: 5. Firing Botter was a big mistake. The site was his baby and never really became what he originally pitched.
I can confirm that it never really became what he pitched, because I know a lot of the ideas first hand.

Full disclosure. I was in informal talks with Botter for a job with Flo shortly before he was fired. There was no specific title discussed, but it wasn't the same role that McCarron accepted/quit, or the role many others interviewed for. We discussed a number of roles, including writing, "indie hunter"/point man in negotiations with indies, podcasting, and even an on camera role for a behind the desk wrap up/news show covering Flo promotions. I was local, had years of writing & podcasting under my belt, and most importantly, I was in tune with the wrestling scene, something Flo personnel obviously lacked, so it made a ton of sense. So yeah, Botter had a lot of outside the box ideas, and almost none of them came to fruition.

It reached a point where I was asked to submit a resume, which I did, either on the day or day after Botter was let go. That's where things ended, as I was his recruit. Another Flo employee (not on the FloSlam side) warned me that whatever Botter potentially had cooking with me was likely unknown to his bosses. I reached out to Toby to see if my name ever came across his desk, and never heard back. Of course, Toby was eventually fired as well.

RE: NJPW negotiations. I think this is bullshit, unless Botter was bullshitting me. In my conversations with him, he noted that they wanted to negotiate with NJPW, but didn't have the proper connections and continually hit dead leads. In fact, I was asked if I could get them in the door. I know a few people employed by or connected with NJPW, probably not the right ones, but of course I said yes anyway. I was sniffing around for a potential job, after all.

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Re: FloSlam is Suing WWN & Everybody is Nuts

Post by LK3185 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:30 am

Seems to be Floslam had unrealistic expectations and threw big money around to entice people and when that didn't work out, they had no leverage... i mean if you find out a company is throwing money around, you're not gonna settle for less when they come calling and why would Floslam give a low level indie big money? honestly, probably should have just cancelled all plans when they couldn't get ROH

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Re: FloSlam is Suing WWN & Everybody is Nuts

Post by Goat » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:34 am

Isn't it not as simple as negotiating with New Japan anyway? Don't you also have to go through TV Asahi?

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Re: FloSlam is Suing WWN & Everybody is Nuts

Post by Joe Lanza » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:39 am

Goat wrote:Isn't it not as simple as negotiating with New Japan anyway? Don't you also have to go through TV Asahi?
I asked that same question. They didn't seem to know, which backs up my theory that they never had any kind of meaningful conversation with the company.

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Re: FloSlam is Suing WWN & Everybody is Nuts

Post by Danwaka » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:03 am

So they paid 5 million on the promise of 5,000 PPV buyers they could turn to subscribers for WWN. That's a thousand dollars per potential subscriber. Would I be wrong in assuming that even WWN hasn't extracted that much from each individual fan on their own? Maybe 500 depending on how expensive their DVDs and PPVs are, but not the full thousand, right?

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Re: FloSlam is Suing WWN & Everybody is Nuts

Post by Joe Lanza » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:14 pm

Danwaka wrote:So they paid 5 million on the promise of 5,000 PPV buyers they could turn to subscribers for WWN. That's a thousand dollars per potential subscriber. Would I be wrong in assuming that even WWN hasn't extracted that much from each individual fan on their own? Maybe 500 depending on how expensive their DVDs and PPVs are, but not the full thousand, right?
What you just did was basic math, something that amazingly I'm not sure Flo ever did. Even on the premise of converting all 5,000 regular iPPV buyers, which nobody with a clue believes is a legit number to begin with, it's seems like a shit deal.

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Re: FloSlam is Suing WWN & Everybody is Nuts

Post by Danwaka » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:32 pm

Joe Lanza wrote:
Danwaka wrote:So they paid 5 million on the promise of 5,000 PPV buyers they could turn to subscribers for WWN. That's a thousand dollars per potential subscriber. Would I be wrong in assuming that even WWN hasn't extracted that much from each individual fan on their own? Maybe 500 depending on how expensive their DVDs and PPVs are, but not the full thousand, right?
What you just did was basic math, something that amazingly I'm not sure Flo ever did. Even on the premise of converting all 5,000 regular iPPV buyers, which nobody with a clue believes is a legit number to begin with, it's seems like a shit deal.
I mean for real, you guys were saying 500 paying fans at the most on the podcast. Even if said fans were showing up or buying each event, that still doesn't seem enough to keep EVOLVE going, let alone the rest of the sister companies. That's also incredibly little to show for 6 or 7 years of operations, like emberassingly so. I've seen kebab vans in uni that saw higher attendance numbers on a week to week basis and put more money away than what EVOLVE seems to be subsisting on.

How is this company seen as one of the top indys on pure buzz when guys like Pat Buck draws 2,000 in the Northeast (according to one of your Ryback discussions) and get looked over by your average online fan?

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Re: FloSlam is Suing WWN & Everybody is Nuts

Post by Joe Lanza » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:22 pm

Danwaka wrote:
Joe Lanza wrote:
Danwaka wrote:So they paid 5 million on the promise of 5,000 PPV buyers they could turn to subscribers for WWN. That's a thousand dollars per potential subscriber. Would I be wrong in assuming that even WWN hasn't extracted that much from each individual fan on their own? Maybe 500 depending on how expensive their DVDs and PPVs are, but not the full thousand, right?
What you just did was basic math, something that amazingly I'm not sure Flo ever did. Even on the premise of converting all 5,000 regular iPPV buyers, which nobody with a clue believes is a legit number to begin with, it's seems like a shit deal.
I mean for real, you guys were saying 500 paying fans at the most on the podcast. Even if said fans were showing up or buying each event, that still doesn't seem enough to keep EVOLVE going, let alone the rest of the sister companies. That's also incredibly little to show for 6 or 7 years of operations, like emberassingly so. I've seen kebab vans in uni that saw higher attendance numbers on a week to week basis and put more money away than what EVOLVE seems to be subsisting on.

How is this company seen as one of the top indys on pure buzz when guys like Pat Buck draws 2,000 in the Northeast (according to one of your Ryback discussions) and get looked over by your average online fan?
I want to be clear that we don't know how many buys WWN shows were doing. 500 was an estimate, I know we heard years ago that a DGUSA show did around 900-1000. Even if EVOLVE shows do, say, 2000 buys (and I SERIOUSLY doubt it's any higher), it was an extreme overpay by Flo. Stuff like Shine, FIP etc i'm sure were doing what amounts to totally insignificant numbers.

Also, re Pat Buck, this is relevant:


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Re: FloSlam is Suing WWN & Everybody is Nuts

Post by Danwaka » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:32 pm

This Flo deal genuinely feels like one of those Silicon Valley startups that just have a vague idea, money and little more. I reread Bix's article after i read the Buck tweet, but it just boggles. Guess FloSlam's loss is Powerbomb and WWE's gain in the long run. Amazing how both FloSlam and ITV's World of Sport just collapsed on themselves months apart. Vince McMahon rests easy once more.

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