WWE’s second quarter business results showed $150.2 million in revenue and $5.1 million in profits. This compared to last year’s second quarter, which it should be noted included WrestleMania, which did $156.3 million in revenue, but lost $14.5 million due to early spending on the network.
WrestleMana in 2014 brought in $35 million in income that was not network related, and posted a $5.8 million profit, so if you takeWrestleMania out of the mix, while not exact because of tax issues, the actual revenue would have been $121.3 million and losses would have been well over $20 million.
The key number is the network itself, which on June 30, 2015, had 939,000 subscribers in the U.S., 217,000 subscribers outside the U.S., and at that point had 71,000 people taking advantage of free month subscriptions. The total subscriber number was 1,156,000, down from 1,327,000 at the end of the prior quarter.
The average number of daily subcribers was 1,216,000, but that’s skewed by people who signed up for WrestleMania itself who would have remained subscribers into April.
Wall Street seemed happy with these numbers since the stock has risen to $19.00 per share at press time.
It was not a surprise that there was a decline, although WWE was trying to push the idea more that at this point last year they had 700,000 subscribers.
WWE would not release info or answer questions regarding subscribers who had signed up for free months during the period and the retention rate, but the end of the quarter numbers show that, as expected, the people taking advantage of free subs are way down since it became a regular thing.
They noted that the new shows like Too Hot for TV, Swerved and The Stone Cold Podcast were among the most watched shows on the network, not mentioning the Jericho shows. They also said Beast from the Beast, a live show from Tokyo, ws viewed more than any show to date on the network with the exception of the PPV events, beating out the Austin interview with Vince McMahon which had been No. 1.
The company announced new programs for the network:
*An NXT reality show (which was noted would be relatively expense to put together, similar to HBO’s Hard Knocks)
*Table for 3, which is like sitting at a lunch table with talent
*A studio news show (which I was surprised they didn’t have at launch)
They announced Camp WWE, the show we wrote about in last week’s issue, would be teased this year and debut in 2016. They would also produce new episodes of WWE 24, The WWE List as well as new podcasts.
They are also looking at expanding the neetwork into India, China, Germany, Japan and Thailand. The network has already shown to have significant interest in Germany, a market that actually has propped up what are supposedly domestic numbers.
The company is projecting 1.2 million paid subscribers at the end of the next quarter, which would be September 30, 2015, likely based on a SummerSlam bump.
Live event revenue was up, and events were more profitable, if you factor out WrestleMania, due to increases in prices and slightly hurt by devaluation of foreign currency in markets played. The WWE 2K 15 video game was a huge success, which propelled licensing revenue to increase from $5.5 million to $11.3 million.
Home Entertainment (DVDs) continue to decline as does web site revenue (due to loss of iPPV revenue which is now network revenue and lower ad rates), while WWE shop was up from $4 million to $5.8 million in revenue.
Vince did take a shot at Hulk Hogan on the way out when asked, saying the loss of Hogan “Doesn’t have any material effect on us. We’re keen on inidividuals who can actually compete ni the ring and derive benefit from that.”