WWE Reports Record Revenue, Adjusted OIBDA for Full-Year 2017

WWE

WWE reported record revenue ($801 million, +10% YOY) for full-year 2017, with adjusted OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization) also setting a company record ($101.6 million, +40%). For Q4 ’17, the company increased revenue 9% YOY to $211.6 million; while increasing paid subscribers to the WWE Network from 1.41 million to 1.48 million. Along with the earnings report, the WWE issued a statement announcing that Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Wilson and Chief Financial Officer George Berrios are being promoted to co-presidents (and being given spots on the board) as a reward for “their contributions to four years of record revenues and the successful transformation to a multiplatform business model.”

Howie Long-Short: WWE shares are up 62% since October 25th, 2017 (and 14% in 2018). The primary catalyst is the optimism surrounding the company’s next series of television contracts. RAW and SmackDown deals expire Sept. 30, ’19, while broadcast deals in India and the U.K. will end on December 31, 2019. It’s not just broadcast television providers that are interested in the WWE though; 70 new brands have signed on as sponsors since the start of 2015 and corporate sponsorships grew 29% YOY in 2017.

Fan Marino: Paul Levesque (Triple H) noted on the earnings call that the company is finalizing contract terms (i.e. not yet done despite rumors/reports) on a multi-year deal with Ronda Rousey. This isn’t a publicity stunt for the WWE; Levesque was clear in stating “we are her #1 focus and goal. This is her life now. She wants to be with us for a long-time.” Seems like a win-win to me; Rousey brings additional star power to a burgeoning women’s division, while she makes a lucrative living without having to be punched in the face daily. I also LOVE that she’s adopting the Rowdy Roddy Piper gimmick (or at least attire).

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Author: John Wall Street

At the intersection of sports & finance.

2 thoughts on “WWE Reports Record Revenue, Adjusted OIBDA for Full-Year 2017”

  1. First of all, she didn’t adopt the Roddy Piper gimmick. Even if she did adopt it, since when does stealing gimmicks in WWE ever translate to success. Second, she clearly doesn’t have the skill set to adopt Pipers gimmick. If anything, she should copy Lesnars gimmick. She is HORRIBLE at cutting promos. Roddy Piper was the best at cutting promos from his generation. Ronda needs a manager like Lesnar has Paul Heyman. Paige would be perfect as manager. She may have been forced to retire, but she is so young and I would not be surprised if she wrestled again in the future. Having her as Rondas manager would give them plenty of time to interact as a team, which would make the breakup and Paiges eventual return match against her all that more special. I really don’t have high hopes for Rousey. She might be good in the ring, but I have a feeling she is going to stink at everything else required of a superstar that takes place outside the ring. Same with Gronk, if he ever joins WWE. He’s not very likeable and is an atrocious talker. Doesn’t sound very intelligent either. He too will need a manager or he will have to be in a tag team.

    1. You had me until you said Gronk isn’t likable, he’s the most genuine fun-loving good-guy pro athlete in the league today. The guy hasn’t spent a $1 of an NFL paycheck. He’s a lot smarter than you may give him credit for.

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