Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
July 30, 2016: Led by the likes of Roman Reigns, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Sasha Banks, and citing record numbers at WWE Network, increased digital engagements and a successful WrestleMania 32, WWE said its Q2 revenues increased 32% to a quarterly record high $199 million and that North American revenues increased 39% from 2015 Q2.
Even without the impact of WrestleMania 32, which was held April 3 in AT&T Stadium, home for the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, WWE said that revenue increased 13% over the same quarter a year ago.
WWE, during a conference call this past Thursday (July 28) with analysts and media, made a point to stress its numbers with and without WrestleMania 32 due to the fact that WrestleMania 31 was held in March 2015 and counted toward Q1 last year rather than Q2 revenue.
According to WWE, "WrestleMania had a significant impact on subscriber growth in the second quarter of both years. Therefore, the timing impact of the event on second quarter 2016 results is best estimated by measuring the direct contribution the event generated from ticket, merchandise and pay-per-view sales and production costs (excluding any attribution from WWE Network subscriptions).
"In aggregate, these items increased second quarter 2016 revenue by $29.4 million," according to WWE.
Among its reported numbers, WWE Network hit a record of 1.52 million average paid subscribers during Q2 2016, a 25% increase from Q2 2015; and that through the first six months of the year, "digital engagement metrics continued to grow with video views up over 100% to nearly 8 billion and social media engagements up 39% to 570 million versus the prior year."
WWE said it is on pace to add more than 300 hours of original content to WWE Network’s featured programming in 2016, and more than 1,500 hours of archival content to WWE Network, bring the on-demand library to nearly 6,000 hours at year-end 2016.
Among the Q2 offerings, WWE Network added Camp WWE and Swerved Season 2, "which rank among the network’s top original series to-date."
The 39% increase in North American Q2 revenues increased 39% from the prior year quarter were "primarily due to the impact of WrestleMania ticket and merchandise sales as well as by the growth of WWE Network subscribers and the escalation of television rights fees," said WWE. The quarter also reflected "higher ticket sales and prices at other North American events and increased digital advertising revenue."
During the conference call, WWE said that WrestleMania 32 "achieved record-breaking attendance (101,763), ticket sales, viewership and social media activity," with WWE Network reaching a record 1.82 million total subscribers following the event.
During WrestleMania 32 Week, WWE said that WWE Network featured 19 hours of prime-time, premier programming and that subscribers watched nearly 22 million hours of content, averaging 12 hours per subscriber.
WrestleMania 32 "achieved record-breaking attendance, ticket sales, viewership and social media activity," with WWE Network reaching a record 1.8M subscribers.
WrestleMania 32 generated more than 2.5 million mentions on Twitter in one day and more than 250 million video views across WWE digital and social platforms during WrestleMania Week, per WWE.
During Q2, WWE repositioned SmackDown as a live event; and unveiled a multi-year content distribution deal in China with PPTV, the return of a WWE live event to Shanghai in September and the signing of the first-ever Chinese talent.
“I continue to be pleased with the execution of our strategy to optimize the long-term value of our content,” Vince McMahon, WWE chairman and CEO, said during the conference call.
“Progress on this objective is evidenced by the continued year-over-year growth of WWE Network, the transition of SmackDown to a live format every week and the completion of our first exclusive content agreement in China," said McMahon.
WWE's John Cena Has A Hefty Brand
WrestleMania 32 Throws Down Winning Numbers
Back To Home Page