July 27, 2018
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) said second-quarter (ended June 30) over-the-top video subscriptions of WWE Network increased 10% to 1.8 million from 1.62 million during the previous period.
Digital engagement continued to grow through the first six months of 2018, with video views up 58% to 14.4 billion and hours consumed up 71% to 509 million across digital and social media platforms.
The staged wrestling entertainment promotor completed agreements with USA Network and Fox Sports, effective Oct. 1, 2019, which increase the average annual value of WWE’s U.S. distribution 3.6 times that of the prior deal with NBC Universal.
Revenueincreased 31% to $281.6 million from $214.6 million, driven by the increased monetization of content as reflected in the media segment.
Operating incomenearly doubled to $21.2 million from $10.7 million in the prior-year quarter, reflecting increased profit from the media segment, which was partially offset by an increase in management incentive compensation based on anticipated strong full-year results and the rise in the company’s stock price.
Operating income margin was 8% as compared to 5% in the prior year quarter.
Through the first six months, operating income ballooned 192% to $43 million from $14.7 million on revenue of $469.3 million, which was up 16.5% from $403 million last year.
“We’re pleased with our continued success in increasing the monetization of WWE content globally,” chairman/CEO Vince McMahon said in a statement. “This success is evidenced by the completion of our new U.S. distribution agreements with USA Network and Fox Sports, the staging of another record-breaking WrestleMania, and the development of a 10-year strategic partnership with the Saudi General Sports Authority.”
Indeed, WWE produced more than 165 hours of content in the quarter, including versions of its “Best of WWE”series in Spanish, Portuguese, and German, and plans to launch a new series, “WWE Now”in Arabic.