WWE News Update! Vince McMahon and WWE Reports First Quarter 2017 Results!

Credit: WWE.com

WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, Chief Strategy and Financial Officer George Barrios, Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer Michelle Wilson and SVP Financial Planning & Investor Relations Michael Weitz had a conference call this morning from the WWE headquarters in Stamford to announce the results for the First Quarter earnings of 2017 earnings. Below are some of the results.

WWE Reports First Quarter 2017 Results

  • WWE’s revenue increased 10% to $188.4 from $171.1 million in the prior year quarter.
  • WWE’s operating income was $4.0 million and was adjusted OIBDA (1) was $18.6 million
  • WWE Network averaged 1.49 million paid subscribers over the first quarter of 2017. It was a 16% increase compared to the first quarter of 2016.
  • The WWE Network reached 1.95 million total subscribers just missing the 2 million mark by WrestleMania 33.
  • WWE Network provides the WWE Universe across the world with live, in-ring content by producing new content which included 205 Live, and holding a U.K. Championship Tournament.
  • WWE announced a partnership with HBO Sports and Bill Simmons Media Group to produce a documentary on WWE Hall of Famer Andre the Giant.
  • WWE announced a multi-year agreement with StubHub as the Company’s exclusive ticket resale marketplace for fans in Canada an United States.
Credit: WWE.com

WrestleMania 33 Highlights

  • Broke Cirus Bowl attendance record as 75,245 members of the WWE Universe attended WrestleMania 33. (Number announced on WWE.com)
  • During WrestleMania weekend, WWE sold out all show shows at the Amway Center and Citrus Bowl.
  • 1.95 million households watched WrestleMania 33 on the WWE Network.
  • WrestleMania 33 was made available in China for the first time on PPTV sports on pay-per-view with English, Chinese and Mandarin commentary.
  • Launched WWE commerce site in India (WWEShop.in) on April 3rd and WrestleMania 33 was available to watch in India as well

Additional Notes from the First Quarter Results

  • Barrios explained that the WWE is projecting at least 1.63 million WWE Network subscribers for the 2nd quarter.
  • Barrios also mentioned that WWE is still high on the free trails for the WWE Network because they bring sign-ups.
  • “We are pleased with the continued growth of WWE Network, which is a critical building block of our content strategy,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon in the press release. “The recent production of WrestleMania set records for network viewership as well as digital and social engagement. As we leverage continuing innovation to extend our reach in India, China and around the world, we are confident that the enduring and increasing global power of our brands will provide a solid foundation for long-term growth.”

Impact of the WWE Brand Split between Raw and Smackdown Live

  • Television revenues increased 5% to $64.0 million from $60.7 million in the prior year quarter.
  • Live Event revenues increased 27% to $32.1 million primarily due to the staging of 17 additional events and a 10% increase in the average effective ticket price for the Company’s events.
  • With the help of the brand split there were 95 total events (excluding NXT) in the current quarter, consisting of 91 events in North America and 4 events in international markets, as compared to 78 events in the prior year quarter, consisting of 72 events in North America and 6 in international markets.
  • North America live event revenues increased by 34% to $30.6 million from $22.8 million primarily due to the staging of 19 additional events and a 7% increase in the average ticket price to $51.15.

Q&A Segment during the Reports First Quarter 2017 Results

  • Wilson said the UK Tournament was a huge success and Paul “Triple H” Levesque and his team continue to look at local talents in the UK. But no date was announced for a weekly UK show but it’s in development.
  • Wilson also mentioned that Levesque and his team are also working on the 32-woman tournament to debut some time on the WWE Network in the 3rd quarter.
  • Barrios mentioned that the WWE has a stronger connection with it’s fans because of the WWE Network is able to super-serve the fans in ways they couldn’t do before. Barrios mentioned that they feel good about the WWE Network are the subscribers continue to increase per-quarter and believes that the WWE Network will reach 3–4 million subscribers.
  • When asked about the low ratings on Raw in the past weeks, Barrios mentioned that the WWE is more worried about the level of fan engagement, not the TV quarters and USA Network obligations.
  • Barrios also mentioned that the brand split has benefited the WWE because of the great talents split between two brands. Barrios did note that there are times that one brand is ahead of the other but is excited about what going on with RAW and SmackDown Live.
  • A caller asked Vince if WWE is really growing or just trying to serve the diehard fans. Vince explained that there always is a huge ongoing effort to grow the base. He credit Stephanie McMahon and Michelle with their work to attract the various audiences. McMahon continued on by saying the company continues to grow and invest in all aspects. Vince also says that the WWE Network does help super-serve the diehards fans of the WWE.
  • A caller asked Barrios if the reason for Jinder’s push on Smackdown Live translates to the success in the India? Barrios answered the question and explained that WWE just let’s the storylines play out and it shows who is popular or not. Barrios doesn’t fully admit but says that a local character getting a push in storyline could boost business in that specific country a bit.

Additional WWE News:

  • The WWE crew is currently overseas for the UK tour as both Raw and Smackdown Live will air from London, England
  • The WWE Stock closed at $19.79 on Thursday

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