It's not easy being World Wrestling Entertainment
Earnings fell by nearly 80% to $0.04 a share for the July period, with the bulk of that coming from a $2.2 million settlement with the Parents Television Council. The group publicly faulted the wrestling specialist for the violent deaths of children. We could argue about whether the art of fake grappling really hurts our children, but why get into it when we all agree the damage being done is real to the adult shareholders.
Founder Vince McMahon can't script his way out of this malaise. Sure, revenue dipped just slightly to $88.1 million. However, there's more to it than meets the eye. The quality of that revenue is slipping, as margins get the rug pulled from beneath.
Sure, attendance at live events ticked up from 415,000 to 500,400. However, it came after the company staged more than twice as many events as the year before. The average attendance at a wrestling event has slipped from 9,651 to 5,751.
Like a band on the decline, forced to hit smaller venues, World Wrestling Entertainment just isn't as important as it used to be. Pay-per-view buys fell from 1.6 million to 1.1 million for the quarter. I'm not sure what The Rock is cooking, but, right now, it stinks.