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WWE EARNINGS: Official WM29 PPV buys & business reported, plus PPV buys for Extreme Rules & Payback

Aug 1, 2013 - 8:20:01 AM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

WM29Stage.jpg



By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

The official PPV buys total for WrestleMania 29 is 1.039 million buys, down from 1.217 million PPV buys in 2012 and down from 1.059 million buys in 2011. Evaluating the performance of WrestleMania includes the following factors:

- WWE did not report a specific WM29 revenue total, but they noted it was the "highest grossing" WrestleMania in company history. This was mainly due to the domestic price increase and a greater proportion of higher-priced HD purchases compared to past year.

- WWE reported lower profits from WrestleMania compared to last year, mainly due to increased talent salaries, increased production costs, and increased marketing expenses to promote Mania in the New York/New Jersey market.

Concerning the other Q2-2013 PPVs, Extreme Rules (Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H) fell to 231,000 buys from 263,000 buys last year for Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena.

Also, the Payback PPV featuring John Cena vs. Ryback and C.M. Punk's return fell to 186,000 PPV buys compared to 194,000 PPV buys for the prior-year event in June.

- Overall in the quarter, PPV revenue was $37.1 million compared to $40.8 million in Q2-2012, which was due to one fewer event occurring in the current-year quarter.

However, WWE noted that Revenue from the comparable three events (Mania, Extreme Rules, and the June PPV) declined three percent. The weighted formula is a 13 percent decline in PPV buys offset by a 12 percent increase in average revenue per buy due to the Mania price increase and more HD purchases for all PPVs.

Also, PPV profits declined from $19.5 million in Q2-2012 to $9.8 million this year, mainly due to the Mania expenses.

- Looking at the first-half of 2013, PPV Revenue was $52.2 million compared to $54.3 million in the first-half of 2012. Included in the comparison is one fewer event in the first-half of 2013.

- The following is a break down of the PPV buys for the Second Quarter events, as compared to previous years.

Individual PPV buys

WrestleMania
2009 - 960,000 buys
2010 - 885,000 buys
2011 - 1,059,000 buys
2012 - 1,217,000 buys
2013 - 1,039,000 buys

Extreme Rules (Post-WM)
2010 - 182,000 buys
2011 - 209,000 buys
2012 - 263,000 buys
2013 - 231,000 buys

Over the Limit (May)
2010 - 197,000 buys
2011 - 140,000 buys
2012 - 167,000 buys
2013 - N/A

June PPV
2010 - 143,000 buys (Fatal Four-Way)
2011 - 170,000 buys (Cap. Punishment)
2012 - 194,000 buys (No Way Out)
2013 - 186,000 buys (Payback)

Second Quarter PPV Revenue

2009 Q2 - $35.6 million (WM quarter)
2010 Q2 - $10.4 million (non-WM quarter)
2011 Q2 - $34.4 million (WM quarter and with $5 increase compared to 2009)
2012 Q2 - $40.8 million (WM quarter)
2013 Q3 - $37.1 million (WM quarter)

PPV Revenue (first six months of year)

2007: $55.6 million
2008: $59.1 million
2009: $49.2 million
2010: $42.8 million
2011: $47.9 million
2012: $54.3 million
2013: $52.2 million

Caldwell's Analysis: Last year's WrestleMania had the optimal performance of strong buys, strong revenue, and just the right amount of expenses to produce the WrestleMania PPV buys. This year, WWE had to work harder to generate one million PPV buys and they were unable to offset the increased expenses despite the PPV price increase. This also affected the rest of the quarter, as Extreme Rules and Payback performed below-expectations despite WWE spacing out Mania and the follow-up PPVs to create breathing room.


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