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WWE Releases 2nd Quarter Financials

It's a mixed bag for the company.  This is going to be text heavy as there were multiple articles:

Overall (Source):

- WWE announced the following today, regarding the 2012 second quarter financials…

WWE (NYSE:WWE) today announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2012. Revenues totaled $141.6 million as compared to $142.6 million in the prior year quarter. Operating income was $19.6 million as compared to $21.0 million in the prior year quarter. Net income was $11.9 million, or $0.16 per share, as compared to $14.3 million, or $0.19 per share, in the prior year quarter. There were several items that impacted comparability on a year-over-year basis, including expenses incurred in conjunction with our potential network in the current quarter and film impairments in the prior year quarter. Excluding the impact of these items, Adjusted Operating income declined 12% to $21.3 million from $24.3 million in the prior year quarter. Adjusted Net income was $13.1 million, or $0.17 per share, as compared to $16.5 million, or $0.22 per share, in the prior year quarter.

"In the second quarter, we made important progress on our key strategic initiatives, expanding our content and distribution and enhancing our brand strength," stated Vince McMahon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The production and licensing of a third hour of Raw and the launch of a new program, WWE Main Event, for ION Television, as well as our exploding social media presence which now reaches over 100 million global fans, exemplify our achievement of these goals. In order to cultivate further the unique passion of our global fans, we continued to integrate social media in our program content and entered a strategic investment agreement with Tout, which enables users to capture and share 15-second videos. Integrating our fans' voice in our programming enables us to escalate fan interaction, enhance our programming content, and drive the value of our investment."

"Our results were highlighted by the strong performance of our pay-per-view business, which offset an anticipated decline in video game sales," added George Barrios, Chief Financial Officer. "Key audience measures, including a 17% increase in pay-per-view buys and the attraction of 6 million viewers to our 1,000th episode of Raw in July demonstrate our staying power and our continuing ability to build consumer interest. Based on our earnings growth in the first half of the year and the recent positive trends in our pay-per-view business, we are raising our financial forecast for the full year. We expect that our 2012 earnings, measured by either earnings per share, or EBITDA, will be roughly 5% to 15% above our 2011 results on an "as reported" basis."

Revenue by world regions (Source):

- According to WWE's 2012 Second Quarter Results, revenues from North America increased 2%. This was primarily driven by the performance of WrestleMania. Revenues from outside North America declined 8% due to a decrease in live events. Here is a breakdown of net revenues by region….

* North America: $105.3 million in 2012, up from $103 million in 2011.
* Europe/Middle East/Africa: $24.2 million in 2012, down from $26 million in 2011
* Asia Pacific: $8.4 million in 212, slightly up from $8.3 million in 2011.
* Latin America: $3.7 million in 2012, down from $5.3 million in 2011.
* Total net revenues: $141.6 million, down from $142.6 million in 2011.


Live and Televised Entertainment (Source): 

- According to WWE's 2012 Second Quarter Results, Live and Televised Entertainment businesses increased 6% to $117.1 million driven by $6.4 million in incremental Pay-Per-View revenue from events, including WrestleMania. Comparing it to the previous year, WrestleMania XXVIII contributed $5.3 million in additional ticket, merchandise and pay-per-view revenue. Overall, live and TV entertainment is up from $110.5 million in 2011.

* Live Event revenues were $35.4 million as compared to $35.2 million in the prior year quarter as the strong performance of WrestleMania was offset by lower attendance and ticket sales from our events in international markets.

* There were 87 total events, including 57 events in North America and 30 events in international markets, in both the current and prior year quarters.
North American events generated revenues of $22.3 million as compared to $20.6 million in the prior year quarter, representing revenue growth of $1.7 million that was predominantly due to a 28% increase in the average ticket price at WrestleMania and an 8% increase in the paid attendance at that event. Overall, including the impact of WrestleMania, average attendance at the events in North America declined 3% to approximately 6,400 from 6,600 in the prior year quarter while the average ticket price for these events increased 15% to $56.72 from $49.26 in the prior year quarter. Excluding WrestleMania, average attendance declined approximately 4% to 5,400 and the average ticket price increased approximately 4% to about $41.

* International events generated revenues of $13.1 million as compared to $14.6 million in the prior year quarter. The 10% decline in international event revenue was driven by declines in both average ticket price and average attendance. The average ticket price for our international events fell 7% to $63.47 and average attendance declined 6% to 6,200 from 6,600 fans in the prior year quarter. These changes were due to the weak attendance at our events in Mexico and to changes in territory mix, as we held our first live event in Brazil, a market with long-term strategic importance to WWE. Average attendance at our events in Latin America declined approximately 60% to 4,200 fans while the average ticket price for these events declined approximately 15% to $45.03.

PPV Revenue (Source):

- According to WWE's 2012 Second Quarter Results, PPV revenues were $40.8 million as compared to $34.4 million in the prior year quarter. Revenue increased 19% reflecting a 17% increase in buys for the second quarter. WrestleMania XXVIII accounted for approximately 60% of this revenue growth with a 15% increase in buys. Revenue from the three other events in the quarter increased 28% based on a combined 20% increase in buys and a 6% increase in the average revenue per buy. The rise in revenue per buy was attributable to higher retail prices charged for viewing our events in high definition.

* WrestleMania: 1,217,000 buys in 2012, up from 1,059,000 in 2011.
* Extreme Rules: 263,000 buys in 2012, up from 209,000 buys in 2011.
* Over the Limit: 167,000 buys in 2012, up from 140,000 buys in 2011.
* No Way Out (2012)-Capitol Punishment (2011): 194,000 buys in 2012, up from 170,000 buys in 2011.
* Prior Event Buys: 56,000 buys in 2012, up from 20,000 buys in 2011.
* Totals: 1,897,000 buys in 2012, up from 1,598,000 buys in 2011.

TV Rights Fees and Venue Merchandise (Source):

- According to WWE's 2012 Second Quarter Results, WWE's TV rights fees were up, while venue merchandise sales were down. Here is the breakdown…

* Television Rights Fees revenues were $32.4 million as compared to $32.0 million in the prior year quarter. This increase was primarily due to improved terms and contractual increases from our existing programs, partially offset by the absence of rights fees for our WWE Superstars program.

* Venue Merchandise revenues were $5.4 million as compared to $6.3 million in the prior year quarter, primarily due to the timing of our Fan Axxess events, which are scheduled in conjunction with WrestleMania. Based on the number of days within the quarter that preceded WrestleMania, there were two Fan Axxess event sessions in the current year quarter compared to six event sessions in the prior year quarter. Total paid attendance and sales per capita at our North American events were essentially unchanged from the prior year quarter.

Consumer Products (Source): 

- According to WWE's 2012 Second Quarter Results, revenue from Consumer Products businesses decreased 25% to $16.1 million from $21.6 million in the prior year quarter. This is due to a big loss in licensing revenue. Here is the breakdown from the report…

* Licensing revenues were $6.6 million as compared to $12.0 million in the prior year quarter. The 45% decline was primarily due to a $4.6 million reduction in video game sales with one fewer release, WWE All Stars, in the period. WWE All Stars was released in March 2011 and will not be refreshed in the current year. Additionally, royalties from the sale of toys declined 12%, or $0.4 million, with lower associated promotion and retail support. Although shipments of our franchise video game, WWE '12, increased 13% in the quarter to 221,000 units, shipments have declined 23% year-to-date.

* Magazine publishing net revenues were $1.3 million as compared to $1.6 million in the prior year quarter, reflecting lower newsstand sales in the current year quarter.

* Home Video net revenues were $7.8 million as compared to $7.5 million in the prior year quarter. The 4% increase in revenue was primarily due to the recognition of minimum guarantees from our international licensing activities. Domestic home video revenue was essentially unchanged from the prior year quarter. In the current year quarter, a 9% decline in shipments to 837,200 units and a 3% decline in average price per unit to $12.16 were offset by improved sell-through rates, primarily from our prior period releases. Estimated home video returns decreased to 39% of gross retail revenue as compared to 41% in the second quarter last year.

There may be more information released later but that's all I could find for right now.


  1. they are doing about the same.

    PPV buys are up but its due to hotshotting.

  2. Does anyone know the exact # of buys WM23 did? I had always heard 1.3M but I'm finding a few places saying 1.18M, and according to Wikipedia it was approximately 1.2M. I'm just curious how close they came this year to breaking that mark.

  3. This I found interesting, ER went up 25% year over year versus the WM increase of 15%.  Sure, the actual number of buys are less, but considering it had about a 3 week build compared to HHH-UT and Cena-Rock which had considerable longer builds; that's impressive.  Can you imagine if Brock would've been allowed to go over Cena and they built to a SummerSlam main event with Cena as a HUGE underdog? 

    I've written countless financial critiques and had to explain away some shitty Profit and Loss statements so I feel comfortable spotting BS when I hear it and this is at the top of the heap:

    ""In the second quarter, we made important progress on our key strategic initiatives, expanding our content and distribution and enhancing our brand strength," stated Vince McMahon"

    Sure Vince, yet you're still underperforming year after year; but hey, your rule the twitter-verse.

  4. Christopher HirschAugust 2, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    PPVs did better, that's good news for them.

  5. That's pretty surprising that the PPVs did so well considering the ease to get them for free and the fact that you can usually see it on Raw for free two weeks later.

  6. I like that idea, flair, but I keep thinking of Over The Limit 2011 as a comparison reference.

    Hear me out.

    John Cena took the WWE Championship from The Miz at Extreme Rules. He won the match quite handily, and immediately the two had a rematch at Over The Limit. There was not a single doubt in anyone's mind that John Cena was winning that match, hence the extremely low buyrate.

    If you have Lesnar crush Cena, and then you try to book a rematch for Summerslam...what's the motivation to buy the PPV? I mean...most people are going to think that Lesnar would crush Cena again, so what's the point?

    The one thing I'll give you...if Cena gets his arm broke (a la Triple H), and they give the decision to Lesnar at Extreme Rules, THEN you've got dollar signs. But of course....Triple H, your hero and mine...swoops down and takes that idea and sucks all the heat out of it.

  7. Brock going over for a year before losing to a returning heroic Rock or Taker wouldn't benefit HHH or Cena's ego in any way. That's way more important than long term financial gains.

  8. I understand your Miz example and normally, you'd be right, I think.  The difference though, this is Cena we're talking about, Superman.  The fans would buy into him being able to defeat Brock in a rematch regardless of what happened in their first encounter.  They could've had vignettes with Cena doubting himself and slowly build that up to an 80s style montage of him doing his ridiculous strength training and maybe even some MMA submission defense, etc.  I have a hard time believing that the buyrate for that match, couplle with it being Summerslam wouldn't go through the roof.

  9. Two things about the PPV numbers:

    1. Notice how ALL of the events showed an increase in buys.  This has to be good news for Bryan and Punk (and AJ), who were prominently featured this Spring/Summer.  Cena "Main Evented" both years, so I don't think WWE would attribute the growth to him.  This is also good news for Sheamus and possibly Ziggler, too.  All this crap from crusty vets and cynical critics about "who draws money" or "puts butts in the seats" can now be flushed down the toilet.  Yes, the Internet darlings are draws. Yes, they have stopped some of the fiscal bleeding--this has got to be the first time in 5 years or so that each PPV has gone up in buys instead of the steady decline. That's a major achievement as far as I'm concerned.

    2. Can Scott, Meltzer, etc. now stop decreasing the number of Wrestlemania buys with every passing month based on speculation (who the frig knows)?  1,217,000!  Boo-yah, as Shane would say.  

  10. Much better to hotshot for PPVs than, say, a random Monday Nitro.  Also, ALL of the PPVs showed increases.  Over the Limit and No Way Out did not feature much hotshotting.  Hopefully, this can allow the staff to have a little more enthusiasm and faith in guys like Punk, Bryan, and Ziggler.

  11. I would be curious to know what the # of potential PPV buyers is from year to year.  I don't follow WWE corporate closely enough to know if they are in new markets that they were not in for 2011.  Is this growth in existing markets or are they seeing growth from having a larger pool of potential customers?

  12. I'm sure the returns of Rock and Brock also helped too, but yeah, SOMETHING NEW AND DIFFERENT HAS PEOPLE INTERESTED? What a concept!

  13. Bonus points if Cena runs the street with Doc Louis, a la Punch Out!

  14. Yeah, if I had the financial means (not being a broke college kid), I'd watch more PPVs. Sure, it's nice to watch the PPV streams, but I hate the buffering and watching it on a monitor; I find it much more enjoyable when it's on my nice big TV screen with the colors popping.

  15. I dunno.  I'm an adult with a steady job who could order PPV's but I still go to the bar for WrestleMania.

  16. I get the big 4 PPVs no matter what the card is, to get any other PPV it has to have something that really hooked me, like last year's CM Punk walkout angle led me to get Money in the Bank.

  17. Hold on, I was asking down below about WM23's actual buys. Since none of you dirtbags helped me out I had to actually look for it myself. According to the WWE's 2007 q2 financial reports that show did 1.18 million buys. So WM28 *did* do more? The numbers seem to support it, but I'd think the WWE would trumpet that fact in this report if it were true.


  18. What is a Prior Event Buy?  Is this like when they put the documentary features from their DVDs on PPV?  Does it mean pre-ordering a PPV before the day of the event?

  19. The only time the Punk/Bryan feud was really highlighted(I mean promoted as a ppv main event) was No Way Out.

  20. Punk and Bryan were not given ANYTHING for thier first match and AJ was inserted and got all the heat for the second one.

    They hotshotted Lesnar
    They threw in Ace vs Cena with the Show backdrop and a million stips.
    NWO had a shitty card but the name alone gave it buys. last year it was capital punishment... what is that?

    Regardless, it was hotshotting IMO.

    Id rather have hotshotting on free tv cuz at least more people would see it. (I do not condone hotshotting in any way shape or form.) and then would be more convinced to buy ppvs. But they use PPV to build to tv nowadays.

    CM Punk turning is hotshotting. Its not logical storytelling.  there was no need for it. He wasnt stale he was under showcased. Now where does that leave Bryan... a face turn? Right when he was really hitting his stride as a heel?

    So does that mean GMAJ turns heel as well?!

    See all that from one turn.

    Hotshotting... and it has a domino effect.

  21. Money in the Bank was the payoff, I thought.

  22. Having a part-time go over your entire roster, only to lose to another part-timer, is an even dumber idea than having the part-time lose to Cena in his first big match.  Especially when you're dealing with Lesnar, who is always a threat to up and leave WWE at any time before he takes his inevitable comeuppance at Wrestlemania 29.

    I'll say it again, the easiest way to rehab Lesnar would've been to have him win MITB.  Then he can be the looming threat that's always on the horizon for the WWE champ --- or, the World champ, since it'd be a good way to cement Sheamus as a main eventer to have him beat Lesnar in a stiff-ass, hard-hitting match at WM29.

  23. See, I wished I lived in a town where bars or a Buffalo Wild Wings would show a PPV, but alas, they don't. 

  24. Yeah, I always save to get The Rumble and WM every year. RR is my favorite event of the year and 'Mania is 'Mania.

  25. Probably means PPV replays (like from when they used to hype the Tuesday PPV encore... do they still even do those?)

  26. I don't see the connection between Punk/Bryan/AJ.  That story seemed pretty conclusively over.  Punk turning heel has no impact on Daniel Bryan's status.  And AJ, throughout everything, has seemed fairly consistent and unwilling to turn because of her love interest.  Plus, her accepting Bryan's proposal surely would end any romantic possibilities between her and Punk.  So, again, his turn would have no impact on her.

  27.  Yeah, use the number above -- it is the most recently updated.  They've released several numbers over the past several months as they adjusted their final target number.

  28. That's a good question.  That has made a dramatic difference from year to year in recent years, but I haven't paid enough attention to see

    especially in the WM buyrate as they usually integrate in those new markets for that event (and in some cases ONLY for that event).  That makes it kind of tricky to compare, since WrestleMania is also available in more places for order than any other PPV.

  29. You're on the ball!  Having a look at the financial report for 2008 -- they do indeed state that WrestleMania 23 "approximately" 1.2 million buys, so indeed the other number they floated around did not end up being the final number.

  30. Not sure what context it is being used in, but perhaps it is referring to the % of customers that bought both the current show and the previous PPV?  Or perhaps the current show and the show of the same name from the previous year?

  31. Okay, if you go entirely off of the quarter results from the SUBSEQUENT year (obviously excepting this year, since we won't get those numbers till next year) here is how the final buyrates seem to shake out.  I had to dig a little for the non-estimated figures. 

    I would assume these would be the most accurate numbers available, since they've given time to get all of the buys in and averaged and thus for the actual number to settle:

    WrestleMania 19: 560,000 buys
    WrestleMania 20: 886,000 buys
    WrestleMania 21: 983,000 buys
    WrestleMania 22: 958,000 buys
    WrestleMania 23: 1,188,000 buys
    WrestleMania 24: 1,058,000 buys
    WrestleMania 25: 960,000 buys
    WrestleMania 26: 885,000 buys

    WrestleMania 27: 1,059,000 buys

    WrestleMania 28: 1,217,000 buys

    IIRC, domestic buys usually made up between 35% and 55% of the total buys.

  32. I'd be all ready to jump on the "WM28 is #1" bandwagon except they didn't mention that in the report released today, and that's a very un-Vince thing to do. Of course it could just be that they already made the proclaimation months ago and it was just Meltzer and co. disputing it so they don't feel the need to respond. Again, very un-Vincelike.

  33. Yeah, it is an odd situation for sure.  They touted the hell out of 23 setting buyrate records at the time and have continually done so in subsequent years in fact. 

    Perhaps they have more information than they reported -- it could be that the WrestleMania 28 number is still not stable and is likely to fall over the next year and edge slightly below the one for 23.  I guess we'll see in the next report. 

  34. "Id rather have hotshotting on free tv cuz at least more people would see it. (I do not condone hotshotting in any way shape or form.) and then would be more convinced to buy ppvs. But they use PPV to build to tv nowadays."  
    But right before that you listed examples of hotshotting that were all mentioned or noted on TV before a PPV in order to build to a PPV.  

    Punk and Bryan had 3 PPV matches together.  Over the Limit was MOTY, in my opinion.  No Way Out featured Kane.  MITB featured AJ.  I think there were twists and turns to extend the feud, not to overshadow it (notice how AJ didn't dictate the ending to MITB?). I think the fact that Bryan and Punk have had a world/wwe title match at every PPV this year says something about them, their ability to draw, and the company's faith in them.  

    I'm sorry but I don't think anyone bought Over the Limit to see Big Johnny and the seen-from-miles-away Big Show turn.  That was Punk and Bryan's show.  The four-way title match was decent as well on that show, too, but Punk-Bryan had the most heat going into things.

  35. Yikes what the fuck happened with wm19? That was a good show.

  36. Just put an hdmi cord from your laptop to thr tv.

  37. Yeah, just a bad time in the organization overall I suppose, although that number is still nothing to sneeze at I suppose.  Still, WrestleMania X7 did 900k+ buys and WrestleMania X8 did 840k.  Even though Hogan/Rock is arguably the biggest match on either 18 or 19, it is surprisingly they couldn't pull a stronger number for Rock/Austin among other things.


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