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Live event performance helps drive WWE’s record revenue in Q2 2023

WWE released its financial results from the second quarter of 2023.

The reports cover April-June of this year, a stretch which kicked off with WrestleMania 39 and the announcement the company was being acquired by Endeavor, which plans to merge it with UFC to spin-off both assets as part of the new TKO Holdings Group.

There’s not much in the way of updates on the Endeavor deal, either in the filings or in Nick Khan’s conference call with investors after they were released: the process continues, with completion expected before the end of the calendar year. There are a lot of indicators of how good business is for WWE right now, with the company highlighting these in particular:

• Revenue was $410.3 million, an increase of 25% and a quarterly record; Operating income was $87.3 million, an increase of 26%; and Adjusted OIBDA1 was $140.7 million, an increase of 54% and a quarterly record

• Returned $9.8 million of capital to shareholders through dividend payments

• Viewership for WWE’s weekly flagship programs, SmackDown and Raw, increased 26% and 19%, respectively, in the P18-49 demo, significantly outperforming overall broadcast and cable television, which both declined 12%

• Each WWE premium live event (WrestleMania, Backlash and Night of Champions) set global unique viewership records with year-over-year increases of 29%, 34% and 45%, respectively

• Live Events revenue increased 51% over the prior year period, reflecting continued strong demand for domestic and international events. North American Live Event average attendance was 9,870, an increase of 45% and a quarterly record

• In July, Money in the Bank was held at The O2 in London. Money in the Bank was WWE’s highest- grossing arena event in company history. Money in the Bank also set new records for viewership, sponsorship revenue, merchandise revenue and social media activity

Live event performance in particular is a sign of how hot the WWE product is. On the investor call, Khan added that Q2 2023 was the company’s highest-grossing live event quarter of all time. He also said they don’t foresee that business slowing down any time soon.

You can dig into all the documents WWE filed and discussed today (Aug. 2) on their corporate website here.

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