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WWE hits record high for revenue, announces full 2018 financials


On Thursday, WWE released their highly-anticipated fourth quarter and year end earnings numbers but while their numbers were impressive, the stock market has yet to respond with a big surge in price.

Some key revenue numbers for the year:

  • Revenues were just over $903 million for the year, beating out 2017's $801 million.
  • They had $99.6 million in net income, up from $32.6 million in 2017.
  • The WWE Network closed the year with 1.563 million subscribers, 1.528 million paid and 35,000 free. Over the fourth quarter, they lost nearly 100,000 subscribers.
  • Revenues were $63.5 million for Q4, up from 2017's $20.6 million.

Revenue increases were attributed to an increase in TV rights fees and their yearly deal with the Saudi Arabian government in addition to the Australia stadium show which was in Q4. The Saudi and Australian shows were listed under 'Other' so the exact per show takes were not broken out.

Other interesting numbers and facts:

  • WWE will no longer release a Network subscription number the day after WrestleMania.
  • Live event revenue was $144.2 million, down from 2017's $151.7 million. That encompasses 308 total events, down 18 from 2017.
  • Q4 attendance averaged 5000, down from 5400 in 2017's Q4.
  • Raw and Smackdown viewership numbers were down year over year, 15% and 14% respectively.
  • They forecasted $1 billion in revenue for 2019, bolstered by new TV deals that kick in during Q4.
  • They forecasted a slight increase in paid Network subscribers for Q1, up to 1.59 million.

On the call, Vince McMahon was asked about Ronda Rousey's much-rumored departure following WrestleMania and how that would damage the brand. He put her over big, cited other stars being absent over the past year, and said they can work around her schedule if they know the dates she'll be gone for. 

WWE co-president George Barrios answered a question about AEW and said it was too early to tell how they will affect the market and reiterated WWE's position in the industry.

McMahon said changes ahead include more localization of content and the next "iteration" of the Network.

As of this writing, WWE's stock is up 1.71% to $81.12.