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WWE releases 3rd quarter results
By JON WALDMAN - SLAM! Wrestling


World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. released its third-quarter financial results earlier on Wednesday, with an increase in revenue as compared to last year's quarterly statement.

The Fed brought in $82.7 million in net revenues, in comparison to $79.1 million for the third quarter for the 2003-2004 fiscal year. Operating income increased by $300,000 ($12.4 million compared to $12.1 million), while net income rose by $2.1 million ($10.9 million this year versus $8.8 million last year).

The rise in revenues can be attributed to a couple different factors, including an increase in pay-per-view events. This year's third quarter included four PPVs (three live events plus prior events), drawing a total of 1,043,000 buys, while last year's quarter only had two live events and prior event totals, drawing 783,000 buys. The additional PPV was New Year's Revolution (275,000 buys), which was WWE's first PPV broadcast from Puerto Rico.

Another reason for the increase in revenue is due an increase in profit from branded mechandise. This sector increased in revenues from $23.4 million to $25.5 million. The increase can be heavily attributed to sales from WWE Home Video, which rose form $3.7 million in the third quarter last year, to $4.8 million this year. Among the recordings available in the quarter was The Rise and Fall of ECW, which has become the second-highest seller in WWE Home Video history. WWE CEO Linda McMahon noted the strong sales of the new recordings in a press release, and predicted future success for other WWE media ventures.

"We continue to see the distribution of our creative content through various emerging channels as growth opportunities," McMahon said. "This has been demonstrated in the current quarter by the success of our Home Video business which has only begun to monetize our extensive programming library. We will further monetize this asset through WWE 24/7, our SVOD service which will have its official launch shortly."

While media numbers were up, however, live event attendance continued to show problems. Revenues from house shows, which included 77 events this quarter, were down from $11.8 million to $11.3 million. 2003-04's third quarter included 74 events. Average attendance also dropped from 4,100 to 4,000.

Jon Waldman has been a SLAM! staff writer since 2000.