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 35 languages. WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all 12 live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 170 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, featuring 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 2,000 hours of video on demand. WWE Network has surpassed 1 million subscribers just 11 months after launch, making it the fastest-growing digital subscription service.
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 170 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 the past 27 years. Our pay-per-view productions consistently rank among the highest selling live event programs in the world. WrestleMania 30 reached a record 1 million households in the U.S. alone on WWE Network and pay-per-view combined, the first time WrestleMania has eclipsed this mark domestically.
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 Syfy 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 Syfy in primetime at 8pm ET on Thursdays. “SmackDown” is regularly Syfy’s most-watched program every week. 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 170 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; 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 eight new titles in the fourth quarter of 2014, all of which were released on DVD, electronically and 4 were released on Blu-ray. According to Nielsen Video Scan (through December 31, 2014), WWE had 9 out of the top 10 titles in the Sports charts in the fourth quarter of 2014, and has a commanding Number One position and 72 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, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Canada, Japan, India, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, New Zealand, Brunei, South Africa, Mexico, Central America 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 2014, our primary website, WWE.com and WWE App, attracted an average of more than 18 million monthly unique visitors worldwide. These visitors viewed an average of more than 419 million pages and 41 million monthly video streams.
WWE currently has location-based websites spanning more than 50 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, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Poland, Portugal, and the Middle East. Local sales agencies are selling ad inventory on WWE.com in more than 35 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 – A slate of made for mobile content is currently being delivered to 21 countries. WWE provides our partners with a wide range of video, wallpapers and ringtones and a two hour mobile video channel. Select mobile partners include: Indiagames in India, Yuke’s in Japan, Zamano in Ireland and the UK, Everything Everywhere (fka Orange)in the UK, Nazarra in the Middle East, VuClip in Asia Pacific and Burda in Russia.
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 320 live events a year within the United States and abroad. In the fourth quarter of 2014, WWE held 57 live events domestically and 25 internationally, entertaining approximately 535,094 fans.
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 2K14″ has sold over 2 million units since its release in October 2013 and is available on the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and Sony PlayStation 3 platforms.
WWE Books has placed 24 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, ring tones and other emerging digital technologies. With the launch of the WWE Network, we now have an added platform to showcase the interlacing of wrestling and music with greater exposure then ever before. WWE has also continued our partnership with Wind-Up Songs, an independent music publisher, composing original entrance theme songs for WWE & WWE NXT Superstars and Divas including: Seth Rollins, Brie Bella, Dean Ambrose, Cesaro, Rusev, Paige, and Adam Rose. They have also produced multiple program themes for WWE shows like Monday Night Raw, Smackdown, WWE 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 and ringtone with partners at iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and others. This effort serves to not only continue WWE’s relationship with leading digital music retailers, but affords audiences around the world the chance to own 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: Wiz Khalifa, Florida Georgia Line, Eminem, Metallica, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Mary J. Blige, Johnny Cash, Flo Rida, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Imagine Dragons, and many others. 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 quarter, we also prepared the release of the first ever WWE 2K15: The Soundtrack, coinciding with the launch of the video game. Curated by Superstar John Cena, and featuring two brand new songs by he and rap phenom Wiz Khalifa, the project garnered critical acclaim from fans of music, gaming, and wrestling alike. The two singles, “All Day,” and “Breaks,” reached top 10 on the iTunes Soundtrack Singles Chart, with Khalifa himself saying, “The two new John Cena (tracks) I have are my favorites. Very positive and motivational. What the world needs more of.”
Venue Merchandise Segment
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 third quarter of 2014, fans attending our domestic live events spent an average of $9.64 on our merchandise.
WWE Shop Segment
E-COMMERCE – WWEShop.com offers the largest variety of WWE merchandise in the world. In the fourth quarter of 2014, WWE merchandise generated $7.7 million in revenues.
WWE Studios Segment
WWE Studios produces a diverse slate of feature films for theatrical release, home entertainment and digital platforms through distribution partnerships with global entertainment companies. Led by President Michael Luisi and headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, WWE Studios creates content for audiences of all ages.
Films recently produced by WWE Studios include The Call with Halle Berry and WWE Superstar David Otunga®, Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery which paired WWE Superstars with Scooby and the gang released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Oculus directed by Mike Flanagan staring Karen Gillan, Katee Sackhoff distributed by Relativity Media in partnership with Blumhouse Productions, Dead Man Down with Colin Farrell and WWE Superstar Wade Barrett®, The Marine 3: Homefront with WWE Superstar The Miz®, 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded, the second installment in the action franchise, starring WWE Superstar Randy Orton®, No One Lives co-produced with Pathe© Films and released theatrically by Anchor Bay Films starring Luke Evans and WWE Superstar Brodus Clay and Christmas Bounty, an action comedy starring WWE Superstar The Miz and Francia Raisa, which premiered on ABC Family’s “The Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas” and released on Blu-Ray/DVD by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
Films to be released in 2014 include Leprechaun: Origins directed by Zach Lipovsky starring WWE Superstar Hornswoggle® which will be distributed by Lionsgate on August 22; See No Evil 2 starring WWE Superstar Kane® directed by the Soska Sisters will also be distributed by Lionsgate on October 21, Queens of the Ring featuring The Miz which will be distributed by Image Entertainment on November 11, Jingle All the Way 2 starring Larry The Cable Guy and featuring WWE Superstar Santino Marella® will be released by Fox Home Entertainment on December 2.
Upcoming films for WWE Studios in Spring 2015 include The Flintstones: Stone Age Smackdown! with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releasing which joins Fred, Barney and the whole Bedrock gang with stone age versions of WWE Superstars and Divas, The Marine 4: Moving Target starring The Miz in the fourth follow-up in the explosive Marine adventures, Incarnate the paranormal thriller featuring WWE Superstar Mark Henry® in a Universal Pictures release of a Blumhouse production, and Term Life starring Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, and Hailee Steinfeld in a Universal Pictures release. The Action Six-Pack series will also be distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment including the films Vendetta directed by the Soska Sisters featuring WWE Superstar Big Show® and Lockdown directed by Stephen Reynolds and featuring WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose®.