Thursday, August 7, 2014

(Sport) WWE: WWE in Trouble?

WWE as a business has been in trouble before and with the worryingly sluggish PPV numbers posted by its recently established platform, WWE Network, It looks like WWE may end find itself in deep water once again.

Though that the WWE Network posted better numbers in its last quarter ( 667,287 in Q1 and 700,000 in Q2), the number are less than impressive to say the least[1]. The sluggish PPV numbers added with the exorbitant cost of establishing the network has culminated in the WWE posting a quarterly loss forcing the operation to cut 7% of its workforce that may save them $30 million over the next two years[2].

The process has already begun with a string of stars on the WWE rosters being forced out of the organization. The organization has also released production and office staff in order to cut costs and most notably have cancelled the production of WWE magazine as “WWE Magazine staff has also been let go”[3]. The process also looks to affect future WWE events with reported cuts to be made on “WrestleMania pyrotechnics next year” as well as “Bringing back the combined RAW and SmackDown “Supershow” tapings next year”[4].

However, for all the press prompting the demise of the WWE, the problems the WWE has encountered with WWE Network are largely fixable. The number one way to make WWE network a money it can be in the long term is global licensing and distribution which WWE are already working on as they sealed “a partnership with Rogers Communications, the largest cable provider in Canada, where Rogers will distribute Raw and Smackdown along with offering the WWE Network as a subscription-based channel”[5].

This deal represents a good move on WWE part but this doesn’t allay fears that it’s international numbers are less than encouraging to say the least according to the Motley Fool:

“The company last week did not break down PPV sales between the U.S., where the network is available, and the rest of the world, where it isn't. But it did provide worldwide totals. Globally, WrestleMania did 690,000 buys, Extreme Rules did 108,000, Payback did 67,000, and Money in the Bank did 122,000. Those are huge drops from 2013, when WrestleMania did 1.1 million buys, Extreme Rules did 245,000, Payback did 198,000, and Money in the Bank did 223,000”[6].
In sum, WWE may have had a bad quarter largely caused by the underwhelming performance of WWE Network but with the hope of an international roll out of the network overseas, the WWE hopes that its big bet on its own platform will come good but early signs say the WWE hierarchy are going to eat a few ugly quarters before their hopes for WWE Network materialize.   

[1] V. Johnson, 2014, Is WWE’s financial future in jeopardy?,
[2] Ibid
[3] D. Scarpa, 2014, WWE Magazine To Cease Production,
[4] M.Middleton, 2014, WWE Possibly Bringing Back Combined Tapings, News on Pyrotechnics At WrestleMania 31,
[5] Ibid
[6] D. Kline, 2014, WWE Network Numbers Put Company’s Future at Risk,

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