STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WWE® (NYSE: WWE) today announced that Payback, which emanated from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, became the most-watched and highest-grossing Payback in company history. The premium live event set new records for viewership, gate and merchandise.
Viewership of Payback was up 36 percent versus the previous record set in 2016. With 12,468 in attendance, it marked the largest gate ever for any Payback, up 13 percent versus the prior record set in Chicago in 2016. Payback also became the highest-grossing WWE event ever held in Pittsburgh.
In addition, Payback broke the all-time event merchandise record. In partnership with special event retail partner Fanatics, merchandise sales were up 182 percent versus the previous record set in 2017.
2023 Payback was also the most-viewed social Payback of all time with a combined 146 million social views, up 44 percent from the previous record set in 2020. The most-viewed moment across social platforms was Cody Rhodes announcing Jey Uso would be joining the Monday Night Raw roster which generated more than seven million social views across all platforms in one day.
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The Company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly entertainment on its television programming, premium live events, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE’s TV-PG programming can be seen in more than 1 billion homes worldwide in 25 languages through world-class distribution partners including NBCUniversal, FOX, BT Sport, Sony India and Rogers. The award-winning WWE Network includes all premium live events, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library and is currently available in more than 180 countries. In the United States, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock, is the exclusive home to WWE Network.
Additional information on WWE can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward looking statements include statements regarding our outlook regarding future financial results, the impact of recent changes to management and our board of directors (the “Board”): the timing and outcome of the Company’s media and other rights negotiations including major domestic programming licenses before their expirations through 2024: the Company’s pending business combination with UFC, our plans to remediate identified material weaknesses in our disclosure control and procedures and our internal control over financial reporting, and regulatory, investigative or enforcement inquiries, subpoenas or demands arising from, related to, or in connection with these matters. The words “may,” “will,” ·could,” ·anticipate,” “plan,” “continue,” “project,” “intend,” ·”estimate,” “believe,” ·expect,” ·outlook,” “target.” “goal,” ·”guidance” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain such words. These statements relate to future possible events, as well as our plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and are not historical facts and accordingly involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results or the performance by us to be materially different from expected future results or performance expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements.
These forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties relating to, without limitation, the consummation of the pending business combination with UFC in the expected timeline or at all; diversion of management’s time and attention due to the pending business combination with UFC: the availability of sufficient cash at the close of our transaction with UFC to distribute to shareholders of the new public company in line with current expectations; possible disruptions in our content delivery and online operations and our those of our business partners; privacy norms and regulations; our need to continue to develop creative and entertaining programs and events; our need to retain and continue to recruit key performers; the possibility of a decline in the popularity of our brand of sports entertainment: possible adverse changes in the regulatory atmosphere and related private sector initiatives: the highly competitive. rapidly changing and increasingly fragmented nature of the markets in which we operate and/or our inability to compete effectively, especially against competitors with greater financial resources or marketplace presence; uncertainties associated with international markets including possible disruptions and reputational risks; our difficulty or inability to promote and conduct our live events and/or other businesses if we do not comply with applicable regulations; our dependence on our intellectual property rights, our need to protect those rights, and the risks of our infringement of others’ intellectual property rights; potential substantial liability in the event of accidents or injuries occurring during our physically demanding events; large public events as well as travel to and from such events; our expansion into new or complementary businesses, strategic investments and/or acquisitions; our accounts receivable; the construction and move to our new leased corporate and media production headquarters; litigation and other actions, investigations or proceedings; a change in the tax laws of key jurisdictions; inflationary pressures and interest rate changes; our indebtedness including our convertible notes; our potential failure to meet market expectations for our financial performance; our share repurchase program; the impact of actions by Mr. McMahon (our controlling shareholder, whose interests could conflict with those of our Class A common stockholders); the substantial number of shares are eligible for sale by the McMahons and the sale, or the perception of possible sales, of those shares could cause our stock price to decline; and the volatility in trading prices of our Class A common stock. In addition. our dividend and share repurchases are dependent on a number of factors, including. among other things, our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital, our financial results and condition. contractual and legal restrictions, general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board may consider relevant.
Forward-looking statements made by the Company speak only as of the date made and are subject to change without any obligation on the part of the Company to update or revise them. Undue reliance should not be placed on these statements. For more information about risks and uncertainties associated with the Company’s business. please refer to any documents filed, or to be filed, by the Company with the SEC, including, but not limited to, the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of our annual reports on Form 10‑K and 10‑K/A and quarterly reports on Form 10‑Q/A and Form 10‑Q.
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