WWE revenues and Network subs dip
October 31, 2019
By Nik Roseveare
WWE has posted Q3 revenues of $186.3 million (€167.2m) slightly down on the $188.4 million in the same period last year.
WWE Network, the company’s SVoD service, averaged 1.51 million paid subscribers, down 9 per cent and consistent with guidance. The company attributed the loss primarily on the impact of lower subscriber additions earlier in the year.
SmackDown, one of the brand’s flagship weekly TV shows, debuted on Fox (in the US) on October 4th and averaged 3.9 million viewers during the premier telecast, up 221 per cent versus the same time slot over the prior four weeks on Fox. Additionally the company also expanded its Wednesday night show, NXT, from one to two hours, and began to air the programme live on USA Network, further building the brand as a complement to WWE’s flagship programmes. Including the newly licensed NXT show, WWE now airs seven hours of live, in-ring content that span Monday (RAW), Wednesday (NXT) and Friday (Smackdown) every week.
In the UK, WWE will move all its TV shows to BT Sport in January 2020, ending a near 30 year relationship with Sky.
Through the first nine months of 2019, digital video views increased 12 per cent on a year-over-year basis to 25.6 billion and hours consumed increased 14 per cent to 957 million hours across digital and social platforms.
“During the quarter, we remained focused on expanding the reach of WWE’s brand with the successful debut of Friday Night SmackDown on Fox Broadcast and NXT on USA Network,” stated Vince McMahon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “With our flagship programming now spanning both broadcast and cable throughout the week in the US and our expanding roster of international distribution partners, we remain excited about our ability to deepen the engagement with our fans around the world.”
George Barrios, Co-President, added: “In the quarter, we accelerated strategic investments to support our content creation. Although we have modified our 2019 guidance of Adjusted OIBDA to a range of $180 million to $190 million, performance in this range would still be an all-time record. We continue to believe in WWE’s global growth potential and remain focused on maximizing future opportunities and shareholder value.”