World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. posted $255.8 million in revenue in Q3 2021 on Thursday, up from $34.2 million for the same period a year before.
The results were driven by higher ticket and venue merchandise sales due to the return of live events. North American events drew the highest quarterly average for attendance in more than a decade.
In January, WWE partnered with NBCUniversal’s Peacock in an exclusive streaming rights deal reportedly worth $1 billion over five years. The media and entertainment company is also in the middle of a five-year linear programming deal with Fox Sports worth more than $1 billion.
WWE reported a record 12.8 billion digital video views during the quarter, a 39% increase year-over-year. The company also saw a record 411 million hours of content consumed, up 20% compared to Q3 2020.
WWE continues to expand its digital media offerings:
- The company announced a podcast deal in August with The Ringer and Spotify.
- It is seeking an international rights deal similar to its pact with NBCUniversal.
WWE returned $31 million to shareholders in Q3, including $21.9 million in share repurchases and $9.1 million in dividends.
The company released 18 talents from its main roster on Thursday, citing budget cuts.