Friday, May 6, 2011


WWE’s RAW brand will be headed to Mexico next week for a four-day tour. RAW Superstar Rey Mysterio won’t be appearing but Sin Cara will take his place. WWE pushed Sin Cara’s appearance so hard when they first put tickets on sale before the draft so they probably kept him on the cards because of that. Alberto Del Rio, who wasn’t originally advertised, is now being advertised as one of the top stars for the tour.


 Besides the expected occasional RAW appearance, John Cena and The Rock will be using Twitter over the next 11 months to keep their feud going for WrestleMania 28.


WWE® Reports 2011 First Quarter Results

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WWE (NYSE:WWE) today announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2011. Revenues totaled $119.9 million as compared to $138.7 million in the prior year quarter. Operating income was $13.2 million as compared to $37.3 million in the prior year quarter. Net income was $8.6 million, or $0.11 per share, as compared to $24.7 million, or $0.33 per share in the prior year quarter. There were several items that impacted comparability, primarily the timing of our annual WrestleMania® event and a $2.8 million film impairment charge. Excluding these items, revenues in the current quarter totaled $119.9 million, adjusted operating income was $17.4 million and adjusted net income was $11.2 million, or $0.15 per share. In the prior year quarter, revenues totaled $109.9 million, adjusted operating income was $22.6 million and adjusted net income was $14.7 million, or $0.20 per share.

“Our first quarter adjusted EBITDA declined 20% reflecting mixed performance from our business lines, including the impact of the ongoing transition in our talent base, and an increase in SG&A expenses. While we understand the lead time required to develop new characters with broad appeal, we were disappointed with our financial performance and our management team is working on addressing these challenges,” stated Vince McMahon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Looking ahead, we are optimistic about our longer-term opportunities to leverage our strength as the ‘New WWE’. We are pleased with the strong performance of WrestleMania, which is expected to deliver a 30% increase in domestic pay-per-view buys and reach more than one million buys globally. Further, the successful launch of our new program, Tough Enough showcases the power of our branded programming. We believe the recent adjustment in our dividend will enhance our flexibility to create and monetize new content, to distribute that content on a variety of existing and emerging media platforms and to execute our ‘New WWE’ initiative.”

The current quarter results reflected $1.4 million in marketing expense to promote WrestleMania XXVII, which occurred within our second quarter on April 3, 2011. In addition, the current quarter included a $2.8 million impairment charge related to our film, 12 Rounds. WrestleMania XXVI occurred on March 28, 2010 and was included as part of our first quarter results in 2010. WrestleMania XXVI contributed approximately $28.8 million of revenues, $13.1 million of profit contribution ($8.8 million, net of tax) and $0.12 of EPS from across our various business lines in the prior year quarter. The Q1 2010 results also reflected an infrastructure tax incentive which reduced depreciation and amortization expense by $1.6 million.


As noted before, the May 2nd RAW with The Rock’s birthday bash did a 3.43 cable rating with 5.19 million viewers.

In a segment-by-segment breakdown, The Rock’s opener gained 903,000 viewers in the second-quarter, bringing that quarter to a 4.10. This was the highest rated second-quarter in years and some of the biggest growth for that quarter in recent memory. R-Truth’s attack on John Morrison and Maryse vs. Kelly Kelly with Kharma’s attack lost 1,111,000 viewers – one of the biggest drops in recent memory.

Backstage segments with The Miz & Alex Riley plus The Rock’s birthday backstage and videos from actors Paul Walker & Samuel L. Jackson gained 75,000 viewers but the WWE Title Match between The Miz and John Cena bombed, gaining only 32,000 viewers and finishing with a 3.43 quarter-hour rating.

Rey Mysterio & Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger & Drew McIntyre lost 421,000 viewers while The Rock’s backstage segment and Kane vs. Mason Ryan gained 44,000 viewers back. The Rock’s in-ring promo with Vince McMahon’s appearance actually lost 62,000 viewers, bringing this week’s overrun rating to a 3.14. Mya singing happy birthday to The Rock gained 127,000 viewers back to a 3.23 rating.


During his birthday celebration on Monday’s RAW, The Rock was not aware that Vince McMahon was going to say what he did and also was not aware of the video tribute WWE had prepared.