WWE Reports First Quarter 2023 Earnings – Revenue Dips Below $300 Million

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WWE revenue has fallen 11% according to the company’s first-quarter earnings report.

Revenue dipped to $297.6 million which is a fall of $35.8 million from the same period in 2022. The company puts this down to “a shift in the timing of the staging of a large-scale international event.”

In 2022, WWE held Elimination Chamber in Saudi Arabia on February 19th, while the company isn’t heading back to the Kingdom until May 27th in 2023, importantly this is during the second financial quarter.

You can find the highlights from the report via WWE below.

  • Revenue was $297.6 million; Operating income was $53.1 million; and Adjusted OIBDA1 was $84.2 million
  • Returned $8.9 million of capital to shareholders through dividend payments
  • Each WWE premium live event (Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber) set domestic unique viewership records with year-over-year increases of 52% and 54%, respectively
  • Viewership for WWE’s weekly flagship programs, Raw and SmackDown, both increased 7%, significantly outperforming overall cable and broadcast television, which declined 15% and 6%, respectively
  • North American Live Events ticket sales revenue increased 52% over the prior year period, reflecting a 37% increase in average attendance
  • In April, WWE announced an expansion of its partnership with Fanatics, with Fanatics assuming management of WWE’s on-site event merchandise business as of May 1, 2023

WWE “Off To A Strong Start”

Elsewhere in the press release, WWE CEO Nick Khan stated that the company was “off to a strong start” in 2023.

“We are off to a strong start in 2023. Operationally, we continue to effectively execute our strategy, including staging the most successful WrestleMania of all time in early April. WrestleMania, as well as our other successful premium live events such as Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber, and strong viewership for our weekly flagship programs, Raw and SmackDown, further expanded the reach of our brands and enhanced the value of our content.

“Strategically, we entered into a historic agreement with Endeavor to create a one-of-a-kind company. With WWE and UFC we intend to form a global sports and entertainment business that has the potential to unlock vast growth opportunities for both businesses.

We believe that bringing these two iconic and highly complementary brands together will allow us to increasingly capitalize on the rapidly expanding, global appetite for live sports events and premium entertainment content, with the goal being to maximize value for our shareholders.”

At Night of Champion on May 27th, WWE will crown a new World Heavyweight Champion. The new title holder will be exclusive to Raw. Meanwhile, Roman Reigns‘ own World Title run will hit the 1000-day mark at the same event.