In a press release following today’s announcement that the WWE Network will be moving to NBC’s Peacock streaming service, the company announced it is anticipating record profits for the 2020 fiscal year.
“Throughout the 2020 year, WWE managed a challenging environment particularly for producers of live content. WWE never went off the air. Because of that, combined with the implementation of extensive short-term cost reductions, COVID-19 had an estimated net neutral impact on WWE’s 2020 Adjusted OIBDA (Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization). Accordingly, the Company estimates its full year 2020 Adjusted OIBDA (unaudited) to be approximately $286 million, which would be a record, up nearly 60% from the prior year.”
In its projections for 2021, the company noted it expects COVID-19 related restrictions, “particularly related to the cancellation, postponement or reduced capacity of ticketed live events, to continue at least through the first half of 2021.”
Costs are expected to increase next year due to the return of employees from furlough, and costs associated with TV production associated with running RAW and Smackdown from the Thunderdome. Offset by “the impact of the Peacock transaction, the gradual ramp-up of ticketed live events, including large-scale international events, and the escalation of core content rights fees,” it expects Adjusted OBITA of $270 to $305 million in 2021.
More details will follow when the company holds its quarterly and full 2020 fiscal year operating results call on February 4.