Live & Televised Entertainment
Live events and television programming are our principal creative content and production activities. Our creative team develops compelling and complex characters and weaves them into dynamic storylines that combine physical and emotional elements. Storylines are usually played out in the ring and unfold on our weekly television shows, and culminate in our monthly pay-per-view events.
The success of the WWE is due primarily to the continuing popularity of our Superstars and Divas. We currently have more than 135 Superstars and Divas under exclusive contracts, ranging from multi-year guaranteed contracts with established Superstars to developmental contracts with our Superstars in training. In addition, we continually seek to identify, recruit and develop additional talent for our business.
Superstars and Divas are highly trained and motivated independent contractors, whose compensation is tied to the revenue that they help generate. We own the rights of substantially all of our characters and exclusively license the rights we do not own through agreements with our Superstars and Divas. Superstars and Divas include “Monday Night Raw’s” John Cena, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Kane, The Miz and AJ Lee; “Friday Night SmackDown’s” Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn.
Relying on our in-house production capabilities at our technologically advanced, high definition, production facility, we produce seven and a half hours of original weekly programming, 52 weeks per year. This programming is distributed domestically, internationally and via WWE.com. Our domestic programs are: “Raw” on USA Network and mun2; “A.M. Raw” on USA Network; “SmackDown” on Syfy and mun2; “WWE Saturday Morning Slam” on CW; and “WWE Main Event” on ION. “WWE Superstars” is available on WWE.com and distributed to more than 60 countries internationally. WWE’s TV programs reach more than 14 million total viewers during the average week in the United States.
“Monday Night Raw” is a three-hour primetime program starting at 8pm ET that is broadcast live on USA Network. It is among the most-watched regularly scheduled programs on primetime cable television and anchors USA, helping make it a top-rated network. As part of the agreement with USA Network’s parent company, NBC Universal, “Monday Night Raw” also airs in replays on mun2 and Universal HD. “Monday Night Raw” is the longest-running weekly episodic program in the U.S. with more than 1000 original episodes and 20 years of action.
The two-hour “Friday Night SmackDown” airs on Syfy in primetime at 8pm ET on Fridays. “SmackDown” is regularly Syfy’s most-watched program every week and is the 3rd most watched regularly scheduled program on primetime cable Friday nights among all male viewers. With more than 700 original episodes, SmackDown is the second longest-running weekly episodic program in U.S. prime time TV history, only behind Monday Night Raw (by number of original episodes).
“WWE Saturday Morning Slam” is WWE’s action-packed return to Saturday mornings, reinforcing the organization’s commitment to kid-friendly entertainment. The show premiered in August 2012 on The CW as the #1 kids program on broadcast TV.
“WWE Main Event,” a new one-hour weekly series, premiered in October 2012 on ION Television network to 100 million U.S. households. It was the most watched program of the week and garnered the highest male audience in the last year for the network. The show features WWE Superstars and Divas from both Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.
“WWE NXT” airs in more than 60 countries worldwide. “NXT” holds its live tapings at Full Sail University’s state-of-the-art performance venue, Full Sail Live, giving students enrolled in the university’s entertainment-focused degree programs the opportunity to gain real-world experience learning from WWE professionals.
Each year, more than 8,000 hours of WWE’s television programming can be seen in more than 150 countries and 30 languages around the world. Our broadcast partners include: BSkyB in the UK; Sky Italia, GXT, Italia 2 and Cielo in Italy; Sky Deutschland and Prosieben in Germany; SIC and Sport TV in Portugal; Groupe AB in France; 2x2 and Sony Turbo in Russia; Extreme Sports Channel in Poland; Nova Sports in Greece; Viasat6 in Hungary; STB in Ukraine; Sport RO in Romania; Baltijos TV in Lithuania; Kanal 12 in Estonia; Eurosport across Europe; e.tv in South Africa; Ten Sports in India; J SPORTS, TVK, TVS, SUN-TV, FTV, MXTV, TKU MTV, GYT, GBS, CTC, NBS and GTV in Japan; SITV, GDTV, LRTV, SZTV, JSTV, SXTV, TJTV, HEBTV, FJTV, HNTV and BesTV in China; TV3 and ASTRO in Malaysia; Foxtel and Network Ten in Australia; Sky TV in New Zealand; ABS-CBN and Fox in the Philippines; Starhub in Singapore; FX Channel and IB Media in South Korea; Videoland in Taiwan; TrueVision and GMM Grammy in Thailand; MNC in Indonesia; PCCW in Hong Kong; Sport 1 and Sport 5 in Israel; Dream TV in Egypt; ADTV, OSN, and MBC in the Middle East; theScore in Canada; Televisa, TV Azteca, PCTV and MVS in Mexico; Esporte Interativo in Brazil; Unitel in Bolivia; Antena Latina in the Dominican Republic; Teleamazonas in Ecuador; Albavision in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru; Televicentro in Honduras; Medcom in Panama; WAPA and Telemundo in Puerto Rico; SCCN in Suriname and CNC3 in Trinidad and Tobago.
WWE has been the world’s pre-eminent provider of pay-per-view programming for the past 27 years. Our pay-per-view productions consistently rank among the highest selling live event programs in the indWrestleMania 29, held Sunday, April 7, 2013 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey once again exceed 1 million global pay-per-view buys and was the highest grossing event in WWE history, with global gross sales in excess of $72 million including the live event. In 2014, WrestleMania 30 will take place Sunday, April 6, 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The event will be viewed in more than 100 countries.
In December 2012, WWE, partnered with Dainty Group and Endemol to distribute and market the Rolling Stones pay-per-view event entitled One More Shot, the band’s final performance of its 50th anniversary tour. The event was seen in 114 countries, available through cable, satellite and telco providers, as well as online via Yahoo!
Our international pay-per-view partners include: Sky Box Office in the UK; Sky Italia in Italy; Sky Deutschland in Germany; Sogecable (Prisa), Cableuropa (ONO) and Telefonica in Spain; Cablevision, Sky Mexico, Multimedios Redes, Megacable and Cinepolis in Mexico; DirecTV Latin America in Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Argentina; Digital Latin America (DLA) throughout Latin America; SKY Perfect TV! and J:COM in Japan; Main Event in Australia; SKY Arena in New Zealand; Canal + in France; StarHub in Singapore; Sky Pacific in Fiji; Astro Box Office Sport in Malaysia & Brunei; OSN, ADTV, Intigral and E-Life in the Middle East and Shaw, Viewer’s Choice, Bell, SaskTel, Empire and Landmark in Canada.
Our multiple sports entertainment brands allow us to perform more than 320 live events a year within the United States and abroad. In the first quarter of 2013, WWE held 63 live events domestically and 2 internationally, entertaining approximately 400,000 fans.
Our direct merchandise operations consist of the design, sourcing, marketing and distribution of numerous WWE-branded products, such as T-shirts, caps and many other novelty items, all of which feature our Superstars, Divas and logos. In the first quarter of 2013, fans attending our domestic live events spent an average of $10.29 on our merchandise.
WWE Classics On-Demand
“WWE Classics On Demand” is a Subscription Video On-Demand (SVOD) service that offers highly-rated classic television shows, best-selling pay-per-view events, specials and original programming. The service draws its material from WWE's extensive 100,000 hour video library, the largest of its kind in the world, and includes other iconic wrestling brands, such as WCW, ECW and AWA. “WWE Classics” subscribers have access to approximately 50 hours of content each month.
WWE Classics is currently available to approximately 68 percent of SVOD-enabled subscribers. Major North American distributors currently include: Comcast Communications; Cox Communications; Charter Communications; Cablevision; Mediacom; Insight; Rogers Communications; Suddenlink; Verizon Communications; Bresnan Communications and RCN.