World Wrestling Entertainment saw significant drops in revenue streams from pay-per-view, digital media, and live TV events in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the prior year quarter. The WWE is hoping that WrestleMania XXV, which occurred on Apr. 5 and will be included in second quarter financial results, will yield improved numbers.
Total revenues for the first quarter were $107.8 million compared to $162.6 million in Q1 of last year. Operating income dropped from $27.1 million to $16.7 million, and net income fell from $19.5 million ($0.27 per share) to $10.3 million ($0.14 per share).
Live and televised events brought in $64.1 million in Q1 compared to $99.8 million in Q1 of 2008. Digital media revenues also dropped from $8.1 million to $6.9 million. While the 36% decline in live and televised events is steep, it is due in part to scheduling.
Last year, WrestleMania XXIV generated $5.9 million in revenue which counted toward the first quarter since the event took place on March 31, 2008. However, the WWE produced 87 events in Q1 compared to 74 events in Q1 last year.
Pay-per-view revenues also decreased considerably, from $41.2 million to $13.6. Again, last years' WrestleMania generated much of the income that was lost this quarter, bringing in approximately $23.8 million and receiving more than 1 million buys.
This quarter, WWE earned 818,000 pay-per-view buys for Royal Rumble, No Way Out, and prior events. Last year in Q1, events attracted 2 million pay-per-view buys with higher subscriber totals for Royal Rumble and No Way Out than this year.
Home video revenues were down to $9.2 million from $14 million in the prior year quarter. DVD shipments fell 23% to 912,000 units. Licensing revenues dipped from $26.2 million to $19.8 million, with a $5.7 million decline in video sales.