WWE reports a fall in operationg income for Q2

MUMBAI: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., (WWE) has announced financial results for its second fiscal quarter ended 27 October, 2006.

Revenues totalled $96.2 million as compared to $88.9 million in the prior year quarter and operating income was $11.7 million as compared to $18.9 million in the prior year quarter. The company reported net income of $10.4 million as compared to $11.7 million, or $0.17 per share, in the prior year quarter.

In India WWE airs on Ten Sports.

WWE CEO Linda McMahon says, " The current quarter reflects the absence of all domestic cable advertising revenues under our arrangement with USA Network, which accounted for revenues of approximately $5.6 million in the prior year quarter. Our effective tax rate in the current quarter was significantly lower as a result of a beneficial settlement of a state and local tax audit. The prior year quarter also included approximately $3.4 million in positive legal settlements. We accomplished several operational objectives in the second fiscal quarter that are important for our continued development.

"We launched Friday Night SmackDown on the new CW network, allowing us to broadcast into three million additional homes domestically. We successfully released our second feature film, The Marine in October and the results are firmly in line with our expectations. We have also positioned our home video business for long-term growth by securing a new distribution deal.”

Revenues from WWE's live and televised entertainment businesses were $64.3 million for the current quarter as compared to $63 million in the prior year quarter, a two per cent increase. Pay-Per-View (PPV) revenues were $18.6 million as compared to $18.8 million in the prior year quarter. There were three Pay-Per-View events produced in each quarter.

Beginning in Q1 of the 2006 transition Period, the North American retail price of its PPV events was increased by $5 to $39.95 in order to bring the price more in line with similar live events. International buys comprised approximately 36 per cent of total buys in the current quarter as compared to 40 per cent of total buys in the prior year quarter.

Live event revenues were $17.6 million as compared to $13.0 million in the prior year quarter, primarily due to the timing of international tours. There were 101 events, including 11 international events and 27 ECW branded events, during the current quarter. In the prior year, there were 78 events, including only 2 international events.

International events generated approximately $4.6 million in the current quarter as compared to $1.3 million in the prior year quarter. Television rights fees revenues were $21.8 million as compared to $20.4 million in the prior year quarter. This increase is primarily due to the rights fees received from ECW telecasts.

Television ad revenues were $1.5 million as compared to $7.7 million in the prior year quarter. This decline was due to the earlier mentioned television distribution agreement with USA Network, which became effective in October 2005.

Due to this change, WWE no longer participates in domestic television advertising sales. Advertising revenues in the current quarter include sales of advertising on the Canadian television programmes.

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