WWE Reports Record 2020 Results, Revenue At $974.2 Million On The Year

WWE did big business in 2020. 

WWE announced its fourth-quarter 2020 and year-end 2020 results ahead of Thursday's financials call. The company did record business for the year, earning $974.2 million in revenue. 

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Revenue in the fourth quarter was down to $238.2 million from the previous year, a decrease of 26% or $84.6 million, reflecting the absence of the Company’s large-scale event in Saudi Arabia and ticketed live events. 

Full highlights:

WWE Reports Record 2020 Results and 2021 Business Outlook

Fourth Quarter 2020 Highlights*
* (All comparisons are versus the prior year period unless stated otherwise)

- Revenue was $238.2 million, a decrease of 26% or $84.6 million, reflecting the absence of the
- Company’s large-scale event in Saudi Arabia and ticketed live events
- Operating income was $36.2 million, a decrease of 64% or $63.6 million
- Adjusted OIBDA1 was $51.2 million, a decrease of 52% or $56.4 million
- WWE transitioned Raw and SmackDown to Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay (December 11), and continued to deliver a spectacular interactive experience, WWE ThunderDome, to fans
- WWE Network average paid subscribers2 were 1.5 million, an increase of 6%

Full Year 2020 Highlights*
* (All comparisons are versus the prior year period unless stated otherwise)

- WWE produced live, in-ring content without interruption throughout the year, demonstrating the - Company’s ability to adapt to COVID-19 and unprecedented industry challenges
- Revenue was $974.2 million, an increase of 1% or $13.8 million as the growth in core content rights fees was largely offset by the loss of ticket revenue and the absence of a large-scale international event
- Operating income was $208.6 million, an increase of 79% or $92.1 million, driven by the substantial rise in content rights fees, which have a high incremental margin
- Adjusted OIBDA reached a record $286.2 million, an increase of 59% or $106.2 million
- Digital video views were 38.0 billion, an increase of 10%, and hours consumed were 1.4 billion, an increase of 10%, across digital and social media platforms3

Full Year 2021 Business Outlook4

- WWE entered into a multi-year WWE NetworkU.S. licensing agreement (effective March 18, 2021) with Peacock, NBCU’s streaming service. This strategic agreement enables WWE to reach a larger audience and realize a greater economic return as compared to a stand-alone subscription service
- WrestleMania will return to Tampa Bay on Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium with ticket availability and safety protocols forthcoming
- Management expects restrictions related to the spread of COVID-19, particularly related to the cancellation, postponement or reduced capacity of ticketed live events, to continue at least through the first half of 2021. Additionally, management anticipates a significant year-over-year increase in WWE’s expense base due to the return of employees from furlough and continued higher expenses associated with the production of its weekly Raw and SmackDown television content at the WWE ThunderDome from its stadium residence. The Company estimates it can achieve 2021 Adjusted OIBDA of $270 - $305 million as revenue growth, driven by the impact of the Peacock transaction, the gradual ramp-up of ticketed live events, including large-scale international events, and the escalation of core content rights fees, is offset by the increase in personnel and production expenses. Management estimates that the stated 2021 Adjusted OIBDA guidance range would be 15% - 20% higher without the ongoing impact of COVID-19, which includes the loss of ticket and merchandise sales at live events and the increased investment in production to further fan engagement. (See 2021 Business Outlook on page 6 for further information)

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced financial results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2020.

“During the fourth quarter, we continued to produce live content in new ways, which successfully increased audience interaction and engagement,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “As we continued to adapt our business to the changing media environment, we completed an important agreement to license WWE Network content to Peacock, which we expect will expand the reach of our brands and enhance the value of our content.”

Kristina Salen, WWE Chief Financial Officer, added “For the year, we achieved record revenue and Adjusted OIBDA, which was at the high end of our rescinded guidance. Adjusted OIBDA increased nearly 60% reflecting the full year impact of our new content distribution agreements in the U.S. and comprehensive efforts to contain costs in challenging times. In 2021, we anticipate Adjusted OIBDA of $270 million to $305 million, reflecting the increasing monetization of our content tempered by the ongoing impact of COVID-19.”

You can view the entire press release by clicking here

Fans can listen to the financials call on Fightful by clicking here

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