According to an Oct. 30 report from Cageside Seats, the WWE has released its third quarter financials, including an updated tally on the number of subscribers to the WWE Network. By all accounts, the news was not good for the storied pro wrestling promotion. The subscriber tally is well short of the number promotional higher-ups and investors were hoping it would reach by now.
The WWE had a third-quarter loss of $5.9 million, which works out to 8 cents a share. Not surprisingly, the promotion swiftly made an adjustment to the WWE Network price structure, as customers will no longer be required to commit to six months with the service. Moving forward, WWE fans can purchase one month of the network for $9.99, and continue on as they see fit. Fight fans can subscribe month-to-month, a move that will likely bolster interest in the service.
As a result, the WWE stock plummeted to surprising lows by the afternoon of Oct. 30. By 10:30 in the morning in the east, the WWE’s stock was down to 12.92, a drop of 2.64 percent from the previous day’s tally. How low will it go? That’s the question pro wrestling fans have been asking since the Quarter Two numbers came out for the WWE Network.
While the WWE Network subscriber tally rose four percent to 731,000, it’s still far short of the 1.1 million the WWE needs to break even on the venture and even farther away from the 1.4 million it would need to get back to the same profitability it had from their old pay-per-view model. Earlier this year, the WWE announced it had an average of 723,000 subscribers to the WWE Network for Quarter Two of 2014.
After Quarter Three, the number is up to a manageable 731,000, but still far short of the projected tally of one-million buys by the end of 2014. What does this mean for the WWE? If there’s any light at the end of the tunnel, it’s that the WWE Network should pull in strong numbers heading into Wrestlemania season.
With legends such as The Rock, Sting, The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan each rumored to be appearing at Wrestlemania, there will be a buzz about the network heading into the pay-per-view extravaganza. The aforementioned superstars will help reel in the casual fans who might not otherwise have given the network a chance.
Also, it helps that Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns will be returning to action in the near future. The WWE has been snake-bitten this year, as many of its top superstars have been ravaged by injuries. With Bryan and Reigns returning and Lesnar expected to put his heavyweight belt on the line in the months ahead, the next quarter for the WWE should be much better than Q3.