WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon presented the results for the company’s first quarter financial results this morning, with yet another quarter of substantial losses compared to the first quarter in 2010 last year. It should be noted, however, that WrestleMania 26 last year took place in the first quarter, whereas WrestleMania 27 this year took place at the beginning of the second quarter. As a result, this factors in significantly when it comes to live event results, merchandising, pay-per-view buys, etc.
It was reported that the first quarter 2011 pay-per-views for the company drew $13.5 million worldwide, including the January Royal Rumble event and the February Elimination Chamber event. This was down 58% from the first quarter of 2010, which drew $32.4 million, including WrestleMania 26. The 2011 edition of the Royal Rumble brought in 446,000 buys for the “biggest Royal Rumble ever”, down just 3% from the previous quarter’s 462,000 buys. The Elimination Chamber, however, was down 86,000 buys (285,000 buys in 2010 compared to 199,000 buys in 2011) for a year-to-year loss of 30%.
While the numbers for both events are down from 2010, it should be noted that WWE raised the prices of many of the pay-per-views in 2011 throughout the world, thus even though buy rates were down compared to last year, they had a slight increase in their pay-per-view department, increasing from $13.4 million last year to $13.5 million this year. Even though pay-per-view continues to drop every year, it still remains one of the places where the company gets a majority of its profits.