World Wrestling Entertainment’s second quarter numbers largely exemplified the pattern that the company will continue going forward.
Financially, things look great. The company will set profit records starting with the third quarter and particularly quarter four on top due to the new television deals with USA and FOX.
But product popularity continues to fall, slowly but steadily. Every legitimate measure of popularity is down, network subs, house shows, merchandise, PPV, licensing and television ratings. The only revenue segment up is worldwide rights fees for Raw and Smackdown, which by contract escalate each year. Even television advertising revenue is down.
But all declines are minor. And short term, the most important thing is that the recent stock price was based on the idea this quarter would not be profitable, or if so, it would be barely.
But even with revenue below expectations, slightly, spending was cut way back