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WWE announces fourth quarter earnings
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


World Wrestling Entertainment has released its quarterly report, and the numbers aren't looking that good for the Stamford, CT-based company.

For the period ending April 30, 2005, WWE reported a net income of $118.3 million, which is more than $6 million off of last year's number of $126.7 million.

Part of the decline could be attributed to only three pay-per-view events this period (Royal Rumble, No Way Out, WrestleMania) compared to last year, which also included Backlash. PPV buys, including "Prior period events", stood at 1.984 million, representing a 400,000 decrease from last year. Of note, WrestleMania XXI drew nearly 100,000 more buyers than WrestleMania XX.

Another big hit was in the home video market. Last year's quarter saw $11.1 million in revenue, thanks to top sellers WrestleMania XX and The Monday Night War, which sold in excess of 110,000 units each. This year, home video revenue was $5.1 million, a number which could have been higher had WrestleMania XXI been released this quarter. Thus far, approximately 120,000 copies of the three-disc set have been sold.

While PPV and home video sales were down, live event income was up, thanks in part to having nearly twice as many international events. As well, house shows in North America climbed from an average attendance of 5,000 to 5,900.

The large drop in revenue this quarter almost single-handedly accounts for a year-end net revenue decrease from just under $374 million in the 2003-04 fiscal year, to approximately $366.45 million this year.

Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.