Buoyed By Events, PPV, Product, WWE Claims Historical Q4 Financial Results
Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 11:42PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in WWE, WWE, finances, sports marketing

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February 7, 2019:
WWE has unveiled financial results for its Q4 ended December 31, 2018, and is calling the numbers historic.

“In 2018, WWE generated the highest level of revenue and earnings in the company’s history by leveraging our brand strength to increase the monetization of our content worldwide,” Vince McMahon, chairman and CEO, said via the organization.

“Our long-term growth strategy will continue to focus on content creation, digitization and international development.”

According to George Barrios, WWE co-president, “We increased revenue by nearly $130 million, and  . . . we expect to balance 2019 revenue growth with investment in strategic areas that extend the moat around our business, enabling us to continue our business transformation and maximize shareholder value.”

WWE said that Q4 revenues increased 29% to $272.5 million from the prior year quarter, operating income nearly doubled to $53.4 million and net Income was $41.2 million.

During the quarter, WWE said that Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live remained the highest-rated programs on USA Network, which broadcast the 1,000th episode of SmackDown Live.

WWE also aired the eighth season of Total Divas, with a ninth season planned in 2019.

Unveiled were new seasons of other popular series, including Total Bellas and Miz & Mrs.

On its streaming service, WWE Network, pay-per-views and international specials remained significant drivers of viewer engagement.

WWE said that among WWE Network’s most viewed programs were its international pay-per-view events, Super Show-Down and Crown Jewel; and its first all-women’s pay-per-view, Evolution.

Also popular were NXT Takeover: WarGames II, and the recently launched weekly series, NXT UK.

WWE said it added more than 100 hours of original content to WWE Network’s featured programming and nearly 450 hours of archival content, “which resulted in an on-demand library of approximately 11,500 hours at quarter-end.”

On its social and digital platforms, WWE said it produced more than 160 hours of content, including the second season of Mixed Match Challenge on Facebook Watch.

“Our long-term growth strategy will continue to focus on content creation, digitization and international development.”

WWE said that its first all women’s pay-per-view, Evolution, held in a sold-out Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY,  “trended No. 1 on Twitter for over two hours during the last game of the World Series and Sunday Night Football.”

International events included Crown Jewel and WWE Super Show-Down, which was held before what WWE said was its largest audience outside the U.S. in the last 25 years.

At retail, in partnership with Mattel, WWE said it “maintained its dominant position in the U.S. with the No. 1 action figure sold in 2018.

During the quarter, WWE released its latest console game in the WWE franchise, WWE 2K19, which was nominated for “Fan Favorite Sports/Racing Game” at the Gamers’ Choice Awards.

In mobile games, WWE said it had more than 100 million installs across its game portfolio, led by WWE Champions, which won a 2018 Webby People’s Voice Award; WWE Supercard and WWE Mayhem, which recently surpassed 17 million installs.

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