As of this morning the WWE Network had 1,661,000 million paid subscribers. An additional 288,000 users held free subscriptions giving the Network 1,949,000 in total subscribers.
WWE held a conference call this morning to report Network subscriber numbers. When asked by a stock analyst if the company is interested in putting independent wrestling content on the WWE Network, Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Michelle Wilson responded in the affirmative: "We're always looking at opportunities to super serve our fans, so we continue to look into that."
United Kingdom independents PROGRESS and Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW) have been rumored to be in talks with WWE. There was a more recent report that the company is in talks to purchase Ring of Honor.
WWE broke down subscribership by domestic (U.S.) and international (non-U.S.) in its press release, as follows:
The Network continues grow among international subscribers while growing more slowly with the domestic market which has had an earlier access to the Network, by a year or more in many cases, and likely has greater overall access to broadband.
The release also highlighted the success of the WrestleMania event overall, claiming the 75,245 attendance number that was announced at the live event. We should get an idea of what the paid attendance was for WrestleMania 33 when certain attendance numbers are release in a few months.
Analysis: These subscriber numbers are very close to what I expected. Barrios noted that today's news doesn't change the company's earlier projection to report $100 million in OIBDA for the full year of 2017. In the grand scheme, with subscriber growth decelerating, it's questionable whether the Network is truly worth the opportunity cost of moving away from pay-per-view. WWE's investor audience, which often sells on results, hasn't moved much yet on this news as it was announced late in the trading day and many likely haven't reviewed the press release yet.
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