WWE released its second quarter earnings report, which was delayed after Vince McMahon discovered numerous unrecorded expenses.
The period from April to June saw WWE posts net income of $49,099,000 excluding revenue of $328,135,000 and OIBDA listing adjusted to $91.5 million for the quarter.
These were significant increases from the same quarter in 2021, which showed net income of $29.2 million on revenue of $265.5 million.
This quarter included AT&T Stadium’s two-night WrestleMania 38 cards and featured a full touring quarter with fans in attendance compared to last year during the pandemic when WrestleMania was the only paid show for the quarter.
The company’s media division reported revenue of $243.1 million versus $233.8 million a year ago. The division saw its network section grow from $61.5 million to $63.7 million this year and the core content augmentation fee increased by $10 million to $151.8 million. There was a drop in its advertising and sponsorship area from $18.7 million to $17.9 million.
Television numbers for Raw and SmackDown were flat year over year, with Raw averaging 1,758,000 viewers and SmackDown up 1% averaging 2,060,000 viewers. It should be noted that in 2021, the NBA playoffs started a month later in May compared to this season when they started in mid-April. Consequently, this year has seen stronger competition due to more playoff games to contend with than in 2021. By comparison, USA Network was down 16% from last year and Fox was down 10%. .
The company does not disclose audience figures for its premium live events, but has announced year-over-year audience increases for each specific event. WrestleMania was up 60% from 2021, WrestleMania Backlash was up 49%, Hell in a Cell was up 45% (which was the show built around Cody Rhodes wrestling with a ripped pec) and noted that SummerSlam has increased by 20%, and the most-watched events in their respective histories. Previously, these increases were misleading because broadcasts on Peacock were compared to the previous year’s broadcasts on the WWE Network. Now we have a fairer comparison to Peacock’s viewership for WWE programming year over year.
Live events generated $41,007,000, which is a huge increase over last year due to the lack of fan events in 2021 during the same quarter (limited to two-night WrestleMania shows 37 at Raymond James Stadium in 2021).
For the quarter, they averaged 6,800 fans per event (4,800 if you exclude the two nights of WrestleMania 38) at an average ticket price of $91.62 across 55 events. They only held four international shows in the last quarter with an average of 6,550 per event and an average ticket price of $82.41 (this will increase in Q3 if you take into account the Clash event at the Castle in Cardiff).
Consumer Products performed very well with revenues of $44,069,000, nearly double from a year ago, thanks to the strength of the WWE 2K22 video game release.
Due to its success, WWE is increasing its guidance for the year with an adjusted OIBDA projection of $370-385 million while noting the escalation of its base content rights fee and another live event. on a large scale (a premium live event on November 5e in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia).
In Monday’s 10-Q filethe company said $1.7 million was spent on general and administrative costs associated with the Vince McMahon investigation and expects to spend “approximately $10 million during the remainder of the year related to this investigation, associated costs could exceed this estimate”.
During the call with analysts, Chief Financial Officer Frank Riddick III said Vince McMahon had agreed to pay the $1.7 million and “a reasonable amount” of the remaining costs of the investigation which are not covered by their insurance.
Stephanie McMahon-Levesque started the call with analysts praising his father and noting that he retired without delving into his reasons for stepping away. She emphasized the new teaming of herself with Nick Khan and her husband Paul Levesque and positioned all three of them as being influenced by WWE from an early age.
Later in the call, McMahon-Levesque was asked about her leave, which she said was to spend time with her family but only lasted about three weeks. She said she was not forced to take on the role of co-CEO, but instead offered to take on the job. Regarding a potential sale, she just noted that Vince McMahon was still the largest majority shareholder and that their job is to maximize value for their shareholders.
Nick Khan remains extremely optimistic about the company’s next round of negotiations for its media rights in the United States and believes that the addition of tech companies adding live content to their streaming platforms will only strengthen their position. Khan feels Netflix swung their hand bidding on recent Formula 1 rights which were retained by ESPN and expects Netflix to continue to continue live programming once they add their funded tier. service advertising.
The company believes Clash at the Castle will be a very profitable show with the note that a grant has been given to WWE to host the event in Cardiff.
They trumpeted the success of the first day of ticket sales for WrestleMania 39 next April, noting that more than 90,000 tickets were sold in the first 24 hours and are at nearly 80% capacity, with both shows targeting for sale SoFi Stadium.
During the Q&A, there were no direct questions regarding Vince McMahon or a timeline for the conclusion of the investigation.
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston will have a show on Tuesday covering WWE’s second quarter earnings report and a call available on the free POST Wrestling feed.