WWE Shatters Annual Revenue Record for 2021, Has Its Most Profitable Year Ever

WWE released its financial report for both the fourth quarter of 2021 and the full year on Thursday, confirming that it was the most profitable year in the company's history. In terms of annual revenue, the company brought in $1.095 billion, a company record and the first time its annual revenue eclipsed one billion dollars without being adjusted for inflation. Taking that adjustment into consideration, the company has broken one billion each year since 2018. It also brought in a record annual net income of $180.4 million. That's double the revenue the prime years of the Attitude Era were bringing in, even after adjusting for inflation.

"In 2021, we reached a significant milestone of over $1 billion in revenue, for the first time in the Company's history. We ended the year with strong performance across each of our business lines that reflected the engagement of a wider audience with distribution on new digital platforms, including Peacock, and the return of fans at our live events," Vince McMahon stated in the report. "We expect the execution of key initiatives in the coming year, such as the licensing of network content in international markets, monetization of new original series, and the continued shift to a stadium strategy for WWE's premium live events, will further expand the reach of our brands and enhance the value of our content."

"For the year, we achieved record revenue and Adjusted OIBDA, which exceeded the high end of our guidance," WWE Chief Financial Officer Frank Riddick added. "Adjusted OIBDA increased 14% reflecting higher revenue and profit from the distribution of network programming on Peacock, the contractual escalation of rights fees for our flagship shows, Raw and SmackDown, and the return of ticketed audiences to our live events. In 2022, we anticipate Adjusted OIBDA of $360 million to $375 million, reflecting the full year performance of our ticketed live events as well as the increased production and monetization of content."

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The report also explained why the company saw a jump in revenue for the full year, citing the return to touring following the COVID-19 pandemic — "Revenue increased to $57.8 million as compared to $19.9 million, with growth driven by an increase in ticket sales as the Company returned to staging ticketed live events, including WrestleMania and SummerSlam. There were 101 total ticketed live events in 2021, consisting of 88 events in North America and 13 events in international markets, as compared to 42 events in the prior year (held entirely in the first quarter). With the return to live event touring, average attendance increased 5% to approximately 6,600 and average ticket prices increased by 43% to approximately $76."