WWE yesterday announced financial results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2020.
“During the fourth quarter, we continued to produce live content in new ways, which successfully increased audience interaction and engagement,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “As we continued to adapt our business to the changing media environment, we completed an important agreement to license WWE Network content to Peacock, which we expect will expand the reach of our brands and enhance the value of our content.”
Kristina Salen, WWE Chief Financial Officer, added “For the year, we achieved record revenue and Adjusted OIBDA, which was at the high end of our rescinded guidance. Adjusted OIBDA increased nearly 60% reflecting the full year impact of our new content distribution agreements in the U.S. and comprehensive efforts to contain costs in challenging times. In 2021, we anticipate Adjusted OIBDA of $270 million to $305 million, reflecting the increasing monetization of our content tempered by the ongoing impact of COVID-19.”
Q4 2020 highlights included revenue of $238.2 million, a decrease of 26% or $84.6 million, reflecting the absence of the large-scale event in Saudi Arabia and ticketed live events, an operating income of $36.2 million, a decrease of 64% or $63.6 million, and an increase of 6% to 1.5 million average paid subscribers to the WWE Network.
For fiscal year 2020, WWE revenue hit a record $974.2 million, an increase of 1% or $13.8 million as the growth in core content rights fees was largely offset by the loss of ticket revenue and the absence of a large-scale international event and operating income was $208.6 million, an increase of 79% or $92.1 million, driven by the substantial rise in content rights fees.
You can read the full press release of the earnings here.