WWE Post Record Revenue, Despite Declines in Key Areas

WWE today released its fourth quarter earnings report for the year ending 2018.

The key figures and points from within the report include:

  • A 29% increase in revenue from 2017 Q4 to $272.5 Million
  • WWE Network Subscribers up 7% from 2017 Q4 – However they are down from 2018 Q3.
    • In Q3 Network Subs were at 1.66 Million
    • Q4 Network Subs were reported at 1.59 Million
    • Although Subs will likely pick up and drop following significant PPV events
  • WWE’s TV deals with Fox and USA will increase the annual value of its U.S distribution by 3.6 times
  • Digital engagement is up
    • Online Video views up to 31.4 billion (57% increase from last year)
    • Hours consumed up to 1.2 billion (77% increase on last year)
  • Ticket sales in USA are down with a 7% decline in average attendance from 2017 Q4. Avg attendance is 5,000 people.
  • Ticket sales internationally (excluding special events) declined but average attendance increased to 6,900 – in part due to running 10 fewer dates than the previous year

International Events

The thing people were waiting for from this report was the revenue obtained by WWE from their Saudi deal. WWE do not release the particulars of their individual deals.

Instead their international deals are listed under “Other” in media revenues.

This stream of revenue increased 40% on the last Q4 report and WWE say this is “primarily due to distribution of certain live, in-ring programming content in international markets”. Suggesting that the Saudi deal was worth tens of millions of dollars to WWE and a significant factor in their record revenue.

Notable Absences

  • No mention of the WWE UK TV deal that was said to be announced in December 2018
  • No further mention of the India deal that was discussed during the Q3 conference call
  • No mention of the WWE network tiering system that was previously mentioned
  • No discussion of Saudi Arabian deal beyond the profitability
  • No mention of the “re-imagined” live events that Vince McMahon mentioned in the Q3 conference call.

We will have Live coverage of the Q4 conference call this afternoon. Follow along on Twitter @SEW_Podcast

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