While McMahon expressed optimism, Chief Financial Officer George Barrios announced that WWE will be reducing their staff by 7%. The comments are included in their entirety below:
“WWE’s core business metrics remain strong, and WWE Network continues to be the single greatest opportunity to transform WWE’s business model. During the quarter, we developed plans to make WWE Network available globally starting August 12, and completed a long-term content deal in Canada with Rogers Communications,” stated Vince McMahon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Additionally, we identified efficiencies that will improve our 2015 OIBDA outlook by $30 million. Based on these initiatives, we are optimistic about our potential to drive long-term growth.”
“As we expanded WWE Network to 700,000 subscribers, our earnings performance surpassed our guidance, which targeted a Net loss ranging from $15 million to $18 million. Our key metrics continued to show strength as average North American attendance increased 11%, representing the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth. Raw and SmackDown TV ratings increased 5% and 3%, respectively, marking SmackDown’s 7th quarter of growth among the past 8 quarters,” added George Barrios, Chief Strategy & Financial Officer. “We identified efficiencies across WWE, which include a 7% reduction in staff, and improved our 2015 OIBDA outlook by $30 million. We developed plans to make WWE Network available in over 170 countries, and entered a 10-year deal that provides for the WWE Network launch as a traditional a-la-carte Pay-TV channel in Canada and renews our television licensing agreement for Raw and SmackDown. The progress in our strategic initiatives reinforces our view that successful execution of our WWE Network strategy can generate meaningful economic returns.”
We reported on Wednesday that mass job cuts were expected and sadly, those fears look to be realized.