WWE reports record FY results
February 3, 2023
By Nik Roseveare
WWE, the entertainment juggernaut, has announced financial results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31st 2022. Revenue increased 18 per cent to $1.3 billion (€1.19bn) – a record amount for the company. Operating income increased 11 per cent to a record $283.3 million.
Q4 revenue was $325.3 million, an increase of 5 per cent; Operating income was $62.7 million, a decrease of 22 per cent which was attributed to as an increase in operating expenses primarily driven by higher costs to support the creation of content.
WWE’s Crown Jewel event on November 5th 2022 was the most viewed international event in the company’s history. Domestic unique viewership on Peacock also increased 70 per cent over the prior year event.
Each WWE domestic premium live event in Q4 (Extreme Rules on October 5th 2022 and Survivor Series on November 27th) was the most viewed event in its history with year-over-year increases of 36 per cent and 46 per cent, respectively, in domestic unique viewership
“2022 was another strong year for WWE. We generated record financial results and our business continued to perform well due to the strength of our content and brand, which drove audience engagement and monetisation across multiple platforms,” said Nick Khan, WWE Chief Executive Officer. “In 2023, we’re focused on continuing to execute on our key operational initiatives, such as the domestic licensing of our flagship programmes, Raw and SmackDown, as well as the international licensing of our content in key markets. At the same time, we’re focused on the review of strategic alternatives that we announced earlier this year, with the goal of maximising value for all shareholders.”
Frank Riddick, WWE President & Chief Financial Officer, added: “For the year, we achieved record revenue and Adjusted OIBDA, which was at the very high end of our upwardly revised guidance range. In 2022, Adjusted OIBDA increased 19 per cent reflecting 18 per cent revenue growth. Our financial performance was primarily driven by the return to a full year of ticketed live events, including the staging of two large-scale international events, as well as the contractual escalation of rights fees for our flagship weekly programming and premium live events. In 2023, we anticipate Adjusted OIBDA of $395 to $410 million, reflecting continued revenue growth and relatively flat operating expenses.”
At the start of the year, the company saw founder and CEO Vince McMahon return to the board after initially announcing his retirement in July 2022.