As we previously reported, WWE announced today that revenue for the first quarter of 2019 was $182.4 million, down from $187.7 million in the prior year quarter. WWE reported a net loss of $8.4 million, as compared to a profit of $14.8 million in the same quarter last year.
Live event revenues declined 15% in Q1 from the same period in 2015 to $26.2 million. It was noted that the decline was due to the company staging nine fewer events, as well as a drop in average attendance for events in North America. The average attendance for the live events for Q1 2019 was 4,800, an 11% drop from 5,400 in the prior year quarter. The average ticket price was $52.38, which was essentially unchanged from the same period last year. There were no live main roster events held outside of North America in the first quarter, nor were there during the same period last year.
Merchandise was also down 11% in Q1 2019. The revenue from merchandise sold at live events dropped 17% from $23.5 million to $20.8 million. Merchandise sales online saw an even bigger decline, as WWEShop.com revenue was down 21.4% from $8.4 million in the first quarter last year to $6.6 million this past quarter.
Vince McMahon first addressed WWE’s live event woes last October, saying that the company was aware of the issue and were planning on fixing it.
“Live events always has been a barometer as to how well we’re doing,” McMahon said, “Notwithstanding that, we throw around this word ‘re-imagine’ a lot. But we know what’s wrong with our live events, and it’s somewhat of a– I don’t necessarily want to call it [an] antiquated presentation but we know to fix things. If something’s wrong and you don’t know how to fix things, you’re in trouble. We know how to fix that, and we’ll be re-imagining those live events very, very shortly. We’ll see a pretty good turnaround I think in short order.”
McMahon stated on today’s earnings call that the company has a new team working on live events that will turn things around.
Source: Wrestling Inc.