WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon appeared on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street this morning to discuss the company’s return to live events and SummerSlam.
The WWE live event business was barely breaking even before the coronavirus pandemic hit but McMahon was bullish about the return of these live events, saying that they have data that shows a trend towards an increase in attendance moving forward. The first pay-per-view with no COVID-19 restrictions is nearly sold out with around 400 tickets left on sale.
With no live events for well over year, McMahon said that WWE had to rely on television distribution deals and merchandise to weather the storm. Merchandise sales, which usually take place at live events, received a big boost when it went 100% online, with WWEShop.com experiencing record sales.
Stephanie also discussed the WWE Network move to Peacock, saying that WWE wanted to focus on creating content rather than be competitive in technology, noting that they would not have stood a chance competing against the likes of Amazon and Disney and other streaming services on their own.