Earlier today, WWE hosted their quarterly earnings report conference call, lead by WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon and other WWE executives.
During the call, WWE announced that they set record revenue of $214.6 million for the WrestleMania quarter and finished with $5.1 million in profits. To put those numbers in context, last year WWE hit $199.0 million in revenue for the same quarter and $800,000 in profits. It should be noted that WrestleMania in 2016 was not in the second quarter of the WWE’s fiscal year, but in the first, which would explain the difference in numbers.
Also, one of the biggest pieces of news coming from the report was WWE announcing that the profit margin for the Network and pay-per-view was $1.2 million for the quarter instead of $8.3 million in losses for the same period one year ago, which the company attributes to their cost-cutting measures.
As for the WWE Network’s subscriber numbers, actual subscribers were up four percent as of June 30th, but the number of people who canceled was the largest in the history of the Network. On June 30th, the WWE Network had 1,568,000 subscribers, as compared to 1,511,000 one year ago. During the second quarter, the company gained 598,000 new paying subscribers while losing 604,000. Conclusions being drawn is that although the Network has been showing slight growth, WWE has yet to get to their projected mark of 2 million subscribers.
As for television, due to the escalating TV rights deals, WWE did increase in profitability. George Barrios, who is WWE’s Chief Strategy & Financial Officer, was asked about the possibility of moving Raw & SmackDown to Facebook LIVE or another social media platform. Barrios did not say for sure, but did note that it is very possible as social media companies are becoming as large as television networks. Barrios also pointed to that idea when explaining why WWE is prioritizing their social media following strategy for that eventual move.
As for attendance, North American attendance is also up slightly from 5,400 to 5,500 (people on average), due to the added pay-per-views that were not around in the second quarter of 2016. Also, overseas shows fell from 8,000 to 6,300 on average, but the company noted that was due to adding more events in new markets, which negatively effected the average per show.
Additionally, Vince McMahon did speak briefly on the Women’s Division and praised Paul “Triple H” Levesque for his work with the women. McMahon also stated that the fans seem to be responding well to the women as the quarter-hour numbers are up for their segments and did attribute much of that to Levesque.
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