WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, Chief Income Officer & President Nick Khan, Chief Branding Officer Stephanie McMahon, Chief Monetary & Administrative Officer Frank A. Riddick, and Senior Vice President & Head of Investor Relations Seth Zaslow hosted a First Quarter 2022 Earnings name at the moment from WWE headquarters in Stamford, CT. You may try protection of at the moment’s press launch at this hyperlink. Under are highlights from the decision:
Zaslow welcomed everybody and went over the fundamentals, introducing the opposite executives on the decision. Vince thanked everybody for becoming a member of the decision, and touted how that they had a report efficiency in 2021, and the way plainly the momentum is carrying over very properly into 2022. Vince touted the robust begin to the yr with report monetary outcomes, which displays robust efficiency throughout all strains of their enterprise. Vince talked about a number of notable achievements – the stupendous WrestleMania 38 occasion, along with different profitable Premium Dwell Occasions like Elimination Chamber, Royal Rumble and Day 1; they introduced an expanded partnership with A&E for unique programming; and so they introduced a modest TV rights deal for the MENA (Center East & North Africa) area. Vince stated they’re happy with how enterprise goes, and so they consider their creativity will proceed to drive development and provides again to shareholders.
Khan took over and touted how WrestleMania 38 was the most-viewed ‘Mania in historical past, domestically and internationally. Khan touted WrestleMania social media metrics and the way practically 1/3 of Peacock accounts watched some WWE programming throughout WrestleMania Week. They consider they’re reaching new followers on Peacock, and rising their fanbase on Peacock. Khan additionally stated they haven’t hit a ceiling at Peacock, and WrestleMania was the second-most watched reside occasion in Peacock historical past. There was additionally a viewership report with 56 million watching the occasion in India. International viewership was up 54% from 2021.
Khan additionally talked about how worldwide enterprise is up. He touted the MENA area TV deal and the way they count on vital development there. Khan confirmed that one other Saudi Arabia occasion will probably be introduced this yr. He touted the early buzz for WWE Conflict at The Fort in Cardiff, Wales, and stated the sign-up curiosity in tickets has surpassed inside projections, and so they consider the tickets will shortly promote when placed on sale later this month.
They consider the brand new Fanatics partnership will see robust development in merchandise. Khan talked about how they’re targeted on extra unique programming, and touted how they prolonged their partnership with A&E. This second part of their partnership consists of greater than 130 hours of unique programming – a number of new episodes of Biography and Most Wished Treasures, and twenty episodes of the brand new Rivals sequence, which can inform the tales behind the largest clashes in WWE historical past, out and in of the ring. Khan additionally revealed that WWE will produce some post-shows for sure Biography episodes, that includes stars and their associates reacting to the episode that simply aired. He stated WWE continues to construct their unique programming slate.
Khan talked about how WWE is positioning itself for the subsequent TV rights cycle. He stated knowledge exhibits that when it’s time for rights charges negotiations, there will probably be extra consumers on the lookout for reside programming than there was at any level up to now. New potential companions are coming to the desk and ramping up their investments.
Khan handed the decision over to Stephanie. She reiterated how WrestleMania 38 beat the NFL Tremendous Bowl with attain throughout social and digital media. She touted extra of the WrestleMania Week numbers discovered within the press launch linked above. She talked about how WrestleMania 38 set a brand new report in sponsorship income with $10 million, which is a 50% improve year-over-year. She touted how WrestleMania had two presenting sponsors for the primary time in historical past – Snickers and 2K.
Stephanie talked about how they proceed to see robust efficiency with their cellular video games. They are going to be asserting a brand new WWE RPG sport quickly. She praised the WWE 2K22 online game and the way the builders took a yr off to take heed to followers and win again their belief. She stated WWE continues to judge the Metaverse and will probably be asserting extra on the Metaverse within the coming months. She stated gaming is a precedence for WWE, and a key manner they attain the subsequent era audiences as a major variety of WWE followers self-identify as avid gamers.
Stephanie touted the latest WWE NIL signings, and stated they are going to be asserting the subsequent NIL Class of athletes quickly. She touted the success of Logan Paul’s WrestleMania 38 involvement, and the way he drew greater than 143 million impressions, 119 million video views, and 15 million engagements. Stephanie talked extra about a few of the highlights from the press launch linked above, and turned the decision over to Riddick.
Riddick went over the numbers from at the moment’s earnings report and now it’s time for the Q&A with buyers. They had been requested if it is smart to bundle the NBCU Peacock renewal with RAW and SmackDown rights charges. Khan stated the bundle may very well be a really highly effective device. He stated they’ve a robust relationship with FOX, and can speak to the incumbents (FOX, NBCU/USA) first, see what makes essentially the most sense, after which transfer ahead from there.
They had been requested about India, development there, and a possible stadium occasion. Khan touted the WWE Celebrity Spectacle occasion that was unique to India from final yr, and the way it drew 25 million viewers in India. The WrestleMania numbers in India had been terrific. Khan stated India is a “massively vital” marketplace for WWE. He stated they’re at all times looking globally for potential occasions, and that’s how they discovered Cardiff, Wales for WWE Conflict at The Fort. They thought Cardiff was the proper place on the proper time for a stadium present, and they’re very optimistic on it. So they’re trying across the globe to see the place else that may work for the corporate.
They had been requested about Peacock success doubtlessly bringing extra corporations to the desk for worldwide licensing offers for streaming. Khan stated he wasn’t with WWE after they launched the WWE Community however he felt they had been forward of the sport after they launched. He feels they’re nonetheless forward of the sport with the Peacock deal, and whereas a few of the worldwide methods are simply beginning to come collectively, WWE believes every thing will result in a strong worldwide market for rights charges, and that they’ve “deep talks” getting into lots of these territories.
Khan commented on worldwide reside occasions and talked about how they simply got here out of a profitable tour of Europe final week. The occasion in Paris had greater than 11,000 followers in attendance, and there was success throughout the board in every metropolis. He stated their touring is again up and working however by way of televised worldwide reside occasions, they’ve Cardiff developing after which one other Saudi present to be introduced this yr. Khan stated to search for extra televised worldwide occasions in 2023. He stated WWE’s worldwide touring is again up and working, and powerful.
Riddick was requested about recruiting expertise and potential worldwide WWE Efficiency Facilities. He reiterated what Stephanie stated about ramping up recruiting efforts, particularly with the NIL program. He additionally talked about how they’re increasing and bettering a few of the WWE Efficiency Heart, and whereas they haven’t decided on what they’re going to do but, they’re taking a look at it.
A caller requested about scores being down and if they’ve rebounded since WrestleMania 38. Khan stated when you have a look at your complete previous quarter, scores had been up for RAW and SmackDown. He touted how a SmackDown episode from 2-3 weeks in the past went head-to-head with a NBA Playoffs sport on ABC, and beat it in general scores and the important thing demographic. Khan stated they’re assured, however scores have been robust. He talked about how a whole lot of linear TV scores are down considerably nowadays, particularly with unique scripted programming, however WWE is happy with their scores.
That’s it for the decision. Keep tuned for extra from the 2022 Q1 report.
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