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WWE Q1 financials: Network subscribers up from last year

Though WrestleMania 33 took place in the second quarter of the year and the company had already released an updated network number following the event, WWE posted its first quarter financial report today.

Of note, the WWE Network averaged 1,490,000 paid subscribers over the first quarter of 2017. WWE noted that the number represents a 16 percent increase over last year's opening quarter.

There were 1,574,000 paid network subscriptions as of March 31st, with 1,165,000 subscribers in the United States and 409,000 internationally. There were 1,697,000 total subscribers at the end of the quarter.

The network had 1,661,000 paid subscriptions as of April 3rd, which was the day after WrestleMania. Total subscribers fell just short of two million then, coming in at 1,949,000.

Revenue was also up in comparison to 2016's first quarter, increasing to $188.4 million from $171.1 million. As Dave Meltzer wrote in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, profits were down in comparison to the same period from last year.

"We are pleased with the continued growth of WWE Network, which is a critical building block of our content strategy," Vince McMahon was quoted as saying in a press release. "The recent production of WrestleMania set records for network viewership as well as digital and social engagement. As we leverage continuing innovation to extend our reach in India, China, and around the world, we are confident that the enduring and increasing global power of our brands will provide a solid foundation for long-term growth."

WWE's presence in India also came up during an investor's call that the company hosted, with a question being asked about Jinder Mahal's recent push and if it was a strategic decision to cater to fans in the country given his Indian heritage. Chief Strategy and Financial Officer George Barrios answered that they let storylines drive who is popular or not, but said that a local character getting hot could boost business in a country a bit.