WGA Strike: WWE Unscathed, CEO Talks Renewals & Endeavor Merger


WGA Strike: WWE Unscathed, CEO Talks Renewals & Endeavor Merger
WGA Strike: WWE Unscathed, CEO Talks Renewals & Endeavor Merger

On Wednesday, WWE CEO Nick Khan announced that the ongoing WGA strike had not impacted the company, as their writers are not guild members. Despite this, Khan supported the guild members and their efforts, hoping for a swift resolution between the parties involved.

He made these remarks during a call discussing the company's quarterly results, which focused on critical rights renewals and the upcoming merger with Endeavor/UFC. As earnings season is in full swing, WWE is the first to report results after the latest contract between writers and producers expired on Monday without a new agreement.

The strike started yesterday and has already created a ripple effect across the media and entertainment industries, with writers picketing in New York and Los Angeles. Investors will be keen to hear strike-related commentary from CEOs as Paramount Global and Warner Bros.

Discovery report earnings later this week. Khan also addressed the Endeavor merger, emphasizing that the long-standing relationship between WWE and Endeavor ensures a smooth cultural fit as the independent, family-owned company integrates into a larger corporate structure.

He expressed excitement for the future collaboration with UFC and Endeavor, stressing that the latter has no intention of interfering with WWE's creative process. WWE's revenue and net profit experienced a dip in the March quarter.

Still, the company exceeded expectations with a rating surge for Raw and SmackDown, record live event attendance, and vital sponsorships. The merger is set to occur in the second half of the year, pending regulatory approval.

CFO Frank Riddick mentioned they are working to close the deal as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, WWE is concentrating on domestic media rights renewals with Fox and NBCUniversal. While Khan did not provide a specific timeline for the negotiations, he characterized the discussions as "productive" and "bullish."

International Expansion Boosts WWE Revenue

Internationally, WWE is preparing for its first-ever live show in London and closely monitoring the market in India.

The company's sales fell 11% to roughly $298 million, primarily due to the timing shift of a large-scale international event in Saudi Arabia. Increased revenue from media rights fees for Raw and SmackDown and higher North American ticket sales partially offset this decline.

Operating expenses reflected decreased production costs related to living event timing and costs associated with WWE's strategic review, which led to the deal with Endeavor. The company reported an operating income margin of 18%, down from 28%, and a net income of $36.7 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, a decrease from the previous $66.1 million, or $0.77.