Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/05/03/wwe-reports-36-7-million-in-net-income-breakdown-of-q1-report/
WWE reported its first-quarter earnings on Wednesday with the period down from the year prior due to the timing of its return to Saudi Arabia.
For the period ending March 31, 2023, WWE reported a net income of $36.7 million on revenues of $297.6 million, which is down from the first quarter of 2022 generated $66.1 million in net income and $333.4 million in revenue.
Last year, the company had its first Saudi Arabia card of the year in Q1 while this year it falls into Q2 when they stage Night of Champions later this month and was a difference of $55.7 million in revenues in the ‘Other’ category under its Media division.
The quarter included $8.9 million returned to shareholders and capital expenditures of $29.6 million toward its new headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.
The media division posted $225.7 million in revenues, which was down from $278.1 in the first quarter of last year. The company saw an 11 percent increase in its core content rights, which will continue to escalate as the deals go into their final year with the domestic deals in the U.S. expiring at the end of September 2024.
For its television product, the numbers were very strong when most viewership is declining. For the quarter, Raw averaged 1,834,000 viewers and 694,000 in 18-49, which represent increases of 7% and 16% from the prior-year quarter. For the same period, USA Network is down 17% in viewership and 11% and the top twenty-five cable networks declined 15% in viewership and 20% in the key demo.
The USA Network is averaging 603,000 viewers in prime time, so Raw can boast that it does three times the average and underscores the importance of Raw to the network.
In Q1, NXT averaged 606,000 viewers and 185,000 in 18-49, so that show is right at the same level as the network average.
SmackDown averaged 2,357,000 viewers and 785,000 in 18-49, which were both up by 7% from one year ago. Fox has a skewed average where the Super Bowl boosts the number significantly higher and when factored out, Fox was down 1% in viewers and down 4% in the demo. SmackDown is below the viewership average on Fox and right at the level that the network averages in the demo.
For its premium live events, there were no specific viewership figures released but they noted Royal Rumble was up 52% in viewership, Elimination Chamber was up 54%, and WrestleMania 39 increased 39% globally and 29% domestically from the 2022 versions.
Live Events made $32.6 million in revenue, which is way up from $23.1 million in the first quarter of 2022. They touted the record gates they have been hitting with a 37% increase in attendance year-over-year.
From 50 events staged in the quarter, they averaged 7,850 (including the Royal Rumble but both years were held inside of a stadium) with North American ticket sales generating $30.2 million, up from $19.9 on 52 events in 2022 including one international show.
Consumer Products brought in $39.3 million in revenue, up from $32.2 one year ago. Consumer product licensing was up by $6.8 million this year, eCommerce dropped $3.9 million from last year, but venue merchandise jumped from $4.5 million to $8.7 million.
The company is projecting $395-$410 in Adjusted OIDBA including $125-$125 in the second quarter as they expect another record year of revenues for WWE.
John Pollock & Brandon Thurston will cover the WWE Q1 Earnings on Thursday at 1 p.m. ET on the POST YouTube channel