WWE has released its heavily-anticipated earnings report for the fourth quarter of 2021. The company experienced massive revenue growth over the final three months of the year. Some of the numbers were staggering.
WWE reported their first full year with revenues over $1 billion in 2021. It was the highest-grossing year in the history of the company. The earnings report notes that WWE brought in $1.095 billion in gross revenues. That’s a 12% increase over the previous year.
Fourth-quarter revenues increased by 30% for a total of $310.3 million. WWE boasted a whopping 131% increase in operating revenue over the pandemic-stricken year of 2020. Shareholders received a return of capital totaling $59 million including share repurchases and dividends.
WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon was thrilled with the results. McMahon stated that the year ended with a strong performance across all business lines. Vince believes several key initiatives will drive a continued strong performance in 2022.
“In 2021, we reached a significant milestone of over $1 billion in revenue, for the first time in the Company’s history. We ended the year with strong performance across each of our business lines that reflected the engagement of a wider audience with distribution on new digital platforms, including Peacock, and the return of fans at our live events. We expect the execution of key initiatives in the coming year, such as the licensing of network content in international markets, monetization of new original series, and the continued shift to a stadium strategy for WWE’s premium live events, will further expand the reach of our brands and enhance the value of our content.”
The entire year showed insane increases in WWE’s financials. Operating income for the entire year reached $259 million, an uptick of 24%. WWE also touted their new “premium live event” strategy which increased profits by holding events in large stadiums as opposed to arenas.
In 2022, WWE plans several key initiatives that they believe will continue to increase revenue growth. The focus will be on expanding WWE Network rights agreements with international deals similar to what they have with Peacock in the US. Secondary window rights for Raw broadcasts will also come up this year, which is expected to bring in even more cash.
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