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WWE Network subs hit quarterly high despite post-WrestleMania drop

On Thursday morning, WWE reported its highest quarter-closing Network number since the launch of the over-the-top service, but subscribers inevitably fell from the day after WrestleMania 32.

WWE Network had 1,560,000 total subscribers at the end of 2016’s second financial quarter. That is down from the 1,824,000 million that were subscribed the day after this year’s WrestleMania, but ahead of any other quarter reported to date.

The number reported immediately following WWE’s signature event of the year is likely always going to be their yearly subscriber peak, but it was especially interesting this year to see how many of those that signed up for WWE’s free WrestleMania promotion stayed on as paid subscribers.

The Network averaged 1,520,000 paid subscribers for the quarter, which WWE boasted signifies a 25% increase over last year’s second quarter. That number is in line with the previously projected expectations if free subscribers turned into paid subscriptions at the same rate they had been doing previously.

Paid subscribers both domestically and internationally saw an increase following WWE’s free WrestleMania promotion, which indicates that the decision to offer their biggest event of the year as part of a free trial for the first time appears to be at least a moderate success.

There were 1,130,000 paid domestic subscribers at the end of quarter two, and 381,000 paid international subscriptions.

“I continue to be pleased with the execution of our strategy to optimize the long-term value of our content,” said WWE chairman Vince McMahon. “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.”

More on the Network number and other relevant financial information is available in WWE’s quarterly report. And Chris Harrington will have notes and observations on WWE's quarterly conference call on our Twitter account.