WWE Announces First Quarter 2021 Earnings Results; Reports $263.5 Million In Revenue, More Highlights

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Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage

WWE has issued a new press release touting their first-quarter earnings for 2021.

The company announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2021, with highlights including:

First Quarter 2021 Highlights*

* (All comparisons are versus the prior year period unless stated otherwise)

• Revenue was $263.5 million, a decrease of 9% or $27.5 million, reflecting the absence of the Company’s

ticketed live events and a large-scale international event, partially offset by the upfront revenue

recognition related to the delivery of certain WWE Network intellectual property rights

• Operating income was $65.1 million, an increase of 22% or $11.8 million, as the upfront revenue

recognition related to the delivery of certain WWE Network intellectual property rights was partially

offset by the absence of a large-scale international event

• Adjusted OIBDA1 was $83.9 million, an increase of 9% or $6.6 million

• WWE Network launched on Peacock, NBCU’s streaming service, in the U.S. on March 18, expanding

the reach of WWE’s premium content, including live pay-per-views, original series and in-ring shows

• WWE transitioned Raw and SmackDown to the Yuengling Center in Tampa Bay (effective April 12), and

continued to deliver a spectacular interactive experience, WWE ThunderDome, to fans

• WWE announced a multi-year extension with USA Network for NXT, which moved the airing of its twohour, live show to Tuesday nights (effective April 13)

• Digital video views were 9.4 billion, a decrease of 2%, and hours consumed were 367 million, an increase

of 7%, across digital and social platforms2

• Return of capital to shareholders (share repurchases and dividends paid) totaled $84.2 million in 1Q21

WrestleMania Highlights (April 10-11, 2021)*

* (All comparisons are versus the prior year period unless stated otherwise)

• WrestleMania was held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida over two consecutive soldout nights in front of a combined 51,350 fans. WrestleMania was the first WWE live event with a ticketed

audience to take place since the COVID-19 outbreak more than one year ago

• WWE set WrestleMania Week viewership records with nearly 1.1 billion video views across digital and

social platforms, representing a 14% increase from the prior year. A record of nearly 32 million hours

of content was consumed during the week, an increase of 9% from the prior year

“During the first quarter, we continued to effectively execute our strategy, demonstrating our ability to adapt to a challenging live event environment and to expand the reach and monetization of our content in a changing media landscape,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “The launch of WWE Network on NBCU’s streaming service, Peacock, the multi-year extension to distribute NXT on USA Network and the successful staging of WrestleMania illustrate the enduring and increasing value of the WWE brand as the foundation for long-term growth.”

Kristina Salen, WWE Chief Financial Officer, added “In the quarter, Adjusted OIBDA results were driven by the recognition of revenue from our Peacock agreement. Although Adjusted OIBDA increased in the quarter, we are not adjusting our previous full year Adjusted OIBDA guidance of $270 million to $305 million at this time, given the uncertainty regarding the timing and pace of return for ticketed audiences and our ability to stage international large-scale events due to COVID-19 restrictions.”

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