Somebody should dub Jim Ross calls over WWE’s bank account.
WWE released their 2014 Q2 earnings reports today and are reporting a net loss of $14.5 million. It’s not as dramatic as the “losing hundreds of millions of dollars in an afternoon” stuff that was going on earlier this year, but those are still millions of dollars. Millions of dollars. Millions of dollars.
It’s especially bad if you compare it to last year’s second quarter net income of $5.2 million. The entire operation seems to hinge on the success of WWE Network — now reporting 700,000 subscribers, up from the previously-reported 665,000 — and the loss of pay-per-view. Network subscription revenue brought in $19.4 million but was offset by a 36%, $13.2 million drop-off in PPV dollars. WrestleMania, Extreme Rules and Payback all were all down. DANIEL BRYAN HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. LET’S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.
Vince McMahon, of course, remains optimistic:
“WWE’s core business metrics remain strong, and WWE Network continues to be the single greatest opportunity to transform WWE’s business model. During the quarter, we developed plans to make WWE Network available globally starting August 12, and completed a long-term content deal in Canada with Rogers Communications. Additionally, we identified efficiencies that will improve our 2015 OIBDA outlook by $30 million. Based on these initiatives, we are optimistic about our potential to drive long-term growth.”
WWE’s always had a way of righting the ship, so we’ll wait and see where it goes. It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine a price increase for WWE Network to help recoup those funds, or maybe Hulu-esque ads in the middle of whatever you’re watching, or even the entire network moving to Tout and airing in 15-second bursts. Who knows? They can’t keep losing 15 Ted DiBiases.