Rumors of Pay-Per-View’s Death Were Greatly Exaggerated

When I came on board in 2009, one of my responsibilities that Vince [McMahon] gave me was running our infamous pay-per-view business… I came from the NBA, I came from the world of tennis where the vernacular, even a business model of pay-per-view didn’t exist, so of course when I was given the responsibility to … Continue reading Rumors of Pay-Per-View’s Death Were Greatly Exaggerated

COVID-19 Cases Tick Back Up In Florida Counties Where WWE and AEW Run, Rising In Mexico; Japan Easing Restrictions

Despite a pandemic, many wrestling companies are running wrestling events for video or TV purposes, without fans in attendance. The safety of those events varies and depends on factors, including the prevalence of COVID-19 in the local area, whether individuals participating are otherwise at risk of being infected, and the precautions being taken in advance … Continue reading COVID-19 Cases Tick Back Up In Florida Counties Where WWE and AEW Run, Rising In Mexico; Japan Easing Restrictions

Despite COVID-19, WWE Will Set Profit Records in 2020 If TV Fees Remain

It’s evident my earlier estimate of WWE profitability was too low. I estimated that the company would record $121 million in operating income for 2020, in the scenario that there were no more live events for the rest of 2020. After a more detailed estimate of WWE’s revenues and expenses, and with improved knowledge learned … Continue reading Despite COVID-19, WWE Will Set Profit Records in 2020 If TV Fees Remain

Will Audiences That Turn Off Empty Arena Shows Come Back?

The short-term effects of COVID19 to WWE’s, and maybe AEW’s, finances may actually be positive, not negative. The inability to run normal live events actually reduces costs. TV rights payments to the company from broadcast partners, related to flagship programs Raw and Smackdown, appear unimpeded. In other words, the cost of producing programming has been … Continue reading Will Audiences That Turn Off Empty Arena Shows Come Back?

WWE Deemed Essential in Florida May Be Unsafe But Probably Isn’t Result Of A “Bribe”

There’s understandable suspicion that there’s a connection between Linda McMahon’s pro-Trump super PAC, America First Action, allocating $18.5 million to Florida on the same day (April 9) that Florida governor Ron DeSantis amended his stay-home order which allows WWE to run tapings at the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. As dubious as it seems, and … Continue reading WWE Deemed Essential in Florida May Be Unsafe But Probably Isn’t Result Of A “Bribe”

WWE Layoffs Were Morally Heartless and Economically Unnecessary

It’s been suggested to me that every five years or so WWE goes through a cyclical change like this, the last one in 2014 after the WWE Network didn’t gain subscribers as quickly as they had hoped and there was a lot of cost-cutting in a year where the company was not profitable overall.  WWE … Continue reading WWE Layoffs Were Morally Heartless and Economically Unnecessary

Implications of Wrestlemania, WWE’s Cinematic Style

Related to Wrestlemania, there’s some Google web search data available, but because the public data is standardized and longer-term trends are cut up into weeks, I think it’s best to wait a week or two to try to make year-over-year comparisons on the data that includes anything from Sunday. I’ve been looking at some Google … Continue reading Implications of Wrestlemania, WWE’s Cinematic Style

WWE COVID-19 Financial Risk Assessment

The following is an attempt to model how COVID-19 related restrictions will impact WWE’s finances. Obviously, it’s uncertain how long WWE will be unable to run live events. This model considers the financial impact to WWE, at monthly and quarterly intervals, through the remainder of 2020. Ultimately, I concluded that if WWE doesn’t run live … Continue reading WWE COVID-19 Financial Risk Assessment

WWE PPV Rights Value Estimate and Implications

I estimate the sale value for broadcast rights of 12 annual WWE main roster pay-per-view events to a major streaming player to be between $105 million and $161 million (median: $133 million). In the scenario where the WWE Network direct-to-consumer streaming service continues to exist but with paid subscribers reduced by about 80% due to … Continue reading WWE PPV Rights Value Estimate and Implications