WWE reported their first quarter results for 2022 on Thursday May 5th. The figures have been posted onto WWE’s corporate page, which states that the company has seen a new record in quarterly revenue and nearly $39 million paid to shareholders.
First Quarter 2022 Highlights
- Revenue was $333.4 million, an increase of 27% and a quarterly record; Operating Income was $92.4 million, an increase of 42%; and Adjusted OIBDA1 was $111.7 million, an increase of 33% and a quarterly record
- Returned capital to shareholders totaling $38.9 million, including share repurchases and dividends paid
- Announced a multi-year expansion of the Company’s original programming partnership with A&E that includes more than 130 new hours of premium WWE-themed series and specials
- Announced a broadcast partnership with MBC Group, the largest and leading group in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, to air WWE premium live events, live episodes of Raw and SmackDown as well as WWE Network’s vast library of content
- Announced a comprehensive, long-term partnership with Fanatics to create a new, enhanced digital platform for e-commerce and licensed merchandise, as well as physical, digital, and non-fungible token (NFT) trading cards
- WWE 2K22, the latest installment of the Company’s flagship video game franchise, was released to strong consumer demand and rave reviews
The report and figures also factor in WrestleMania 38, which was seen as a success both commercially and was well received by fans. The press release highlights some of the successes of WrestleMania, including it being the highest viewed WWE Premium Live Event of all time and over 56 million people in India watching the show.
WrestleMania Highlights (April 2-3, 2022)
- WrestleMania was held at AT&T Stadium in Dallas over two consecutive nights in front of a combined 156,352 fans. WrestleMania was WWE’s highest-grossing and most-attended event in company history
- WrestleMania was the most viewed WWE premium live event of all time. Global unique viewership increased 54% and domestic unique viewership increased 61% year-over-year
- WrestleMania was the second most viewed event on Peacock to date, behind only Super Bowl LVI
- WrestleMania generated 2.2 billion social media impressions, more than the 1.8 billion impressions generated by Super Bowl LVI
- WrestleMania viewership in India was a record 56.1 million, a 29% increase year-over-year
Other notable points from the full press release are as follows:
- Operating income has increased for WWE, largely due to the company now hosting shows with live fans in attendance and hosting house shows both domestically and internationally. As noted in the report “[operating income] increased 42%, or $27.3 million, to $92.4 million, driven by the increase in revenue partially offset by an increase in operating expenses. The increase in operating expenses was primarily driven by return to live event touring, including the timing of a large-scale international event, partially offset by lower television production costs associated with the creation of the Company’s weekly, in-ring content. In the prior year period, WWE produced its weekly, televised programs utilizing the higher cost environment of WWE ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida.”
- Revenue increased 53%, or $11.2 million, to $32.2 million, primarily due to higher sales of the Company’s licensed video games, including our franchise game WWE 2K22, as well as higher venue merchandise sales driven by the return to ticketed live events. These items were partially offset by a decrease in eCommerce merchandise sales due, in part, to a difficult comparison to elevated Covid-related sales in the prior year period.
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