By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE’s deal with the Saudi Arabian government appears to have led to a substantial increase in a category marked “other” in the revenue section of the fourth quarter financial report. WWE listed $144.7 million revenue for the full year in their “other” section compared to $48.9 million the prior year. WWE listed $63.5 million in the “other” section for the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to $20.6 million for the same quarter in 2017.
Powell’s POV: The financial report reads: “Revenues increased 40% to a quarterly record of $205.3 million, primarily due to the distribution of certain live, in-ring programming content in international markets as reflected in ‘Other,’ which was
partially offset by the timing and performance of the Company’s portfolio of movies.” Although they do not specifically state how much they were paid for the shows held in Saudi Arabia, there’s every reason to suspect that the majority of the increased revenue came from the two Saudi shows.
It will be very interesting to see if this is a topic of conversation in today’s conference call. Vince McMahon and George Barrios quickly shot down a question about the company’s decision to move forward with their Crown Jewel event despite the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by agents of the Saudi government. Barrios labeled it a “difficult decision” early in the call, then Vince told the caller that it was “a sensitive subject” and added that they had said all they wanted to say about the matter. WWE is reportedly scheduled to return to Saudi Arabia on May 3, 2019.
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