WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide in 25 languages. The award-winning WWE Network is the first-ever 24/7 direct-to-consumer premium network that includes all 12 live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, and is currently available in more than 180 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo.
WWE’s operations are organized around the following four principal activities: Media Division (consisting of WWE Network and pay-per-view, Television, Home Entertainment and Digital Media Segments), Live Events Segment, Consumer Products Division (consisting of Licensing, Venue Merchandise and WWEShop Segments) and WWE Studios Segment.
WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 direct-to-consumer network, launched live in the U.S. on Monday, February 24, 2014. The award-winning WWE Network features all 12 WWE live pay-per-view events – including WrestleMania® – for $9.99 per month. WWE Network also includes groundbreaking original programming, reality shows, documentaries, classic matches and more than 4,300 hours of video on demand. WWE Network had 1.22 million ending paid subscribers, representing a 49% increase from the fourth quarter 2014; WWE Network hit an all-time high of 1.24 million average paid subscribers for the quarter.
Fans can now subscribe to WWE Network at WWE.com. WWE Network, the first 24/7 network delivered directly to fans through over-the-top digital distribution, is available on desktops and laptops via WWE.com. WWE Network is also available through the WWE App on: Amazon Fire TV and Kindle Fire devices; Android devices such as Samsung Galaxy; iOS devices such as Apple iPad and iPhone; Apple TV; Roku streaming devices; Sony PlayStation® 3 and Sony PlayStation® 4; Xbox One and Xbox 360; Sony internet connected TVs, Blu-ray Disc players and Blu-ray Home Theater systems; and Samsung Smart TV devices, Blu-ray Players and Home Theater systems. Availability on additional devices will follow.
The U.S. English language version of WWE Network is also available, on an over-the-top basis, in more than 180 countries and territories, including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, Spain, and the Nordics, among others.
In addition, WWE has entered into a new 10-year partnership with Rogers Communications, a leading media enterprise in Canada, under a landmark television programming and WWE Network agreement. The partnership facilitates the launch of WWE Network as a traditional a-la-carte Pay-TV channel in Rogers’ cable systems, which began on August 12 and will include other Pay-TV providers outside Rogers’ footprint.
PAY-PER-VIEW PROGRAMMING – WWE has been the world’s pre-eminent provider of pay-per-view programming for nearly 30 years. Our pay-per-view productions consistently rank among the highest selling live event programs in the world. WrestleMania 31 reached a record 1.6 million households globally on WWE Network and pay-per-view combined.
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; 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, and PCCW in Hong Kong.
Relying on our in-house production capabilities at our technologically advanced, high definition, production facility, we produce seven 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; “SmackDown” on USA Network and mun2; and “Total Divas” on E!. “WWE Superstars” is available on WWE.com and distributed to more than 60 countries internationally. WWE’s TV programs reach nearly 13 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 “WWE SmackDown” airs on USA Network in primetime at 8pm ET on Thursdays. 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).
“Total Divas,” a new one-hour reality series, debuted on July 28, 2013 and was the highest premiere of the year for E!
“WWE NXT” airs in more than 180 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 180 countries and 25 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; 2×2 and Sony Turbo in Russia; Extreme Sports Channel in Poland; Nova Sports in Greece and Cyprus; Viasat6 in Hungary; STB in Ukraine; Sport RO in Romania; Baltijos TV in Lithuania; 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, HNTV, LRTV, 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; Skynet in Mynamar; Sport 1, Sport 5 and Trace Sports in Israel; Dream TV in Egypt; ADTV, OSN, and MBC in the Middle East; Sportsnet 360 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.
Home Entertainment Segment
WWE Home Video released seven new titles in the fourth quarter of 2015, all of which were released on DVD, electronically and two were released on Blu-ray. According to Nielsen Video Scan (through January 31, 2016), WWE had 9 out of the top 10 titles in the Sports charts in the fourth quarter of 2015, and has a Number One position and 70 percent market share in the Sports category.
Outside the United States, our new home video productions and catalog titles are distributed through international licensing agreements in the UK, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Middle East territories.
Digital Media Segment
ONLINE/MOBILE/BROADBAND -WWE utilizes the Internet to promote our brands; create a community experience among our fans; market and distribute our offline, online and mobile products; and sell online advertising. For the fourth quarter of 2015, our primary website, WWE.com and WWE App, averages more than 20.5 million unique monthly visitors worldwide, 418.9 million page views and 39.7 million video streams per month.
WWE currently has location-based websites spanning more than 70 countries worldwide where fans can experience WWE in their own language with a concentration on events and shows in their region. Some of the worldwide countries include Mexico, France, Germany, India, Japan, Poland, and the Middle East. Local sales agencies are selling ad inventory on WWE.com in more than 74 countries.
VIDEO SYNDICATION – WWE currently syndicates its video content on Hulu, YouTube, and other select video portals. The wide range of content includes: full length episodes and clips of “Raw,” “SmackDown,” “Superstars,” “WWE NXT,” and a variety of classic content and original short-form webisodes.
MOBILE SERVICES – The Official WWE App is currently available on the iOS and Android platforms. This application features exclusive information, breaking news, show content and results. There are currently 23 million worldwide downloads.
Live Events Segment
Our creative team develops compelling and complex characters and weaves them into dynamic storylines that combine physical and emotional elements.
The success of the WWE is due primarily to the continuing popularity of our Superstars and Divas. We currently have more than 140 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.
Our multiple sports entertainment brands allow us to perform more than 350 live events a year within the United States and abroad. In the fourth quarter of 2015, WWE held 82 total events in the current quarter, including 56 events in North America and 26 events in international markets.
Consumer Products Division
LICENSING – Our worldwide licensing program builds partnerships with companies around the globe to create products featuring our marks and logos, copyrighted works and characters in diverse categories, including: toys, video games, apparel, housewares, collectibles, sporting goods, books and more. WWE licensed products, created by our more than 130 licensees worldwide, are available at all major retailers, including Walmart, Kmart, Toys “R” Us, Target, GameStop, Barnes & Noble, Tesco and Ackermans
Since 2010, Mattel, the world’s #1 toy company, has been WWE’s master partner in the toy category. For the third consecutive year, 2013 saw WWE ranked as the #2 Action Figure Brand in both the US (NPD January 2013 – December 2013).
WWE video games have sold more than 62 million units since 1999, generating more than $2.0 billion in revenues.
WWE 2K15 shipped 3MM units since it’s launch in Oct 2014 and is available on Xbox 360, Xbox ONE, PS3, PS4 and PC.
WWE Books has placed 25 titles on “The New York Times Best Sellers” list since 1999, including DK’s WWE 50 and WWE Encyclopedia. With DK as our core publisher and key partners Bendon, Papercutz and Becker & Mayer, WWE’s publishing slate includes Superstars bios; historical guides; children’s books; sticker books; coloring books, comic books; graphic novels and many others.
MUSIC – Music is and has always been an integral part of the entertainment experience linking the WWE brand to all media platforms including television, film, radio, video games, live events, and other emerging digital technologies. Additionally, the WWE Network provides a platform to showcase the interlacing of wrestling and music with greater exposure then ever before.
WWE continues to produce original music through our in-house composers. Most recently this has included entrance theme songs for Superstars such as AJ Styles, Austin Aries, and the highly anticipated debut of Shinsuki Nakamura among others. Music plays an important role for these talent as they launch and develop their characters. With the talent themes in mind, we’ve also produced the current program themes for Monday Night Raw, Smackdown, NXT, Main Event, and many more.
In keeping current with the music industry’s expansion towards digital music, WWE continues to release every WWE Superstar theme song through our various digital partners like iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and YouTube. This provides WWE audiences around the world the chance to listen to the songs heard across programming each week, without having to wait for a full-length album release.
In addition to composing, producing, and recording our own music, WWE Music Group licenses commercial music for use across our television, pay-per-view and motion picture platforms which has resulted in partnerships with an array of artists including: Florida Georgia Line, Eminem, Demi Lovato, Metallica, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Mary J. Blige, Johnny Cash, Flo Rida, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and Imagine Dragons. Artist performances have also been a key strategy in making the musical connection part of the overall experience for our audience around the world. This past year alone featured performances from hip hop star MGK, Grammy and Golden Globe nominee Wiz Khalifa, and Grammy winning multi platinum recording artist, Train.
NXT: LOUD is a music content program uniting NXT with bands and artists who are revolutionizing the music space. In 2015, this initiative featured Bring Me The Horizon, Motionless In White, Sleeping With Sirens, and The Struts, integrating each across the NXT Brand and Programming in an array of content including Theme Music for NXT Specials. Additionally, Alternative Press Magazine and NXT Announcer Corey Graves launched the monthly music column, “Stay Loud”. Having promoted NXT to fan-bases of 15M social media followers, and yielding more than 100M potential impressions to date, NXT: LOUD acts a a key marketing driver for NXT.
Direct to Consumer Merchandise
Our direct to consumer merchandise operation, which consists of our global network of WWE Shop e-commerce sites and venue merchandising business, designs, sources, markets and distributes numerous WWE-branded products, such as apparel, accessories, toys, replica championship titles, and many other novelty items. In the fourth quarter of 2015, direct-to-consumer merchandise generated $14.4 million in revenues.
WWE Studios Segment
WWE Studios develops and produces feature films, as well as television and digital content. Its diverse slate is released theatrically, direct to home, and/or across digital platforms, and is co-produced & distributed through partnerships with premiere global entertainment companies. WWE’s film division, led by President Michael Luisi, is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, and creates content for all ages.
Recent films from WWE Studios include The Call with Halle Berry and WWE Superstar David Otunga®, Oculus directed by Mike Flanagan starring Karen Gillan and Katee Sackhoff, Dead Man Down with Colin Farrell and WWE Superstar Wade Barrett®, No One Lives starring Luke Evans and WWE Superstar Brodus Clay™, and Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, which paired WWE Superstars with Scooby and the gang.
Upcoming films from WWE Studios include Incarnate starring Aaron Eckhart and featuring WWE Superstar Mark Henry®, The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smack Down which joins Fred, Barney and the whole Bedrock gang with stone age versions of WWE Superstars and Divas, Killing Hasselhoff starring Ken Jeong, David Hasselhoff and featuring WWE Legend Hulk Hogan, Vendetta starring Dean Cain and WWE Superstar Big Show and directed by the Soska Sisters, Lockdown starring WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose®, The Condemned 2 starring WWE Superstar Randy Orton® and Santa’s Little Helper starring WWE Superstar The Miz® and WWE Diva Paige®.