WWE: Saudi Arabia Event On, Q3 Record Numbers, 1st All-Women PPV In Its History
Friday, October 26, 2018 at 01:08AM
NYSportsJournalism.com in Evolution, PPV, Saudi Arabia, WWE, WWE, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

October 25, 2018: WWE has shared its Q3 financial figures, some of which are “record-setting,” on the eve of Evolution, scheduled for Oct. 28, being billed as the first all-women PPV event in WWE history.

WWE also addressed the serious situation regarding the violent death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia and other issues involving the local government with regard to WWE’s ties to the region, specifically its ten-year deal with the Saudi Arabian government and an upcoming event, “Crown Jewel,” on Nov. 2.

“WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base. Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for Nov. 2 in Riyadh.

“Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the (WWE) has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event . . . as scheduled.”

WWE did leave the door open for a change in its decision, but focused on revenue, stating it "is continuing to monitor ongoing developments in the region, and there can be no assurances in this regard. If the event were to be cancelled, there could be material adverse impact on 2018 adjusted OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization) guidance.

"While not anticipated, it is possible that a cancellation could also impact expected results beyond 2018."

Among Q3 2018 highlights, net income was $33.6 million vs. $21.8 million in the prior year quarter; while revenues reached $188.4 million for the third quarter 2018 and a record $657.7 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2018, 12% growth over the prior year period

WWE said that through the first nine months of 2018, “digital engagement increased with video views up 61% to 22.9 billion and hours consumed up 81% to 842 million across digital and social media platforms.”

“During the quarter, we remained keenly focused on deepening engagement with our global fan base by delivering compelling original content across media platforms,” Vince McMahon, WWE chairman and CEO, said via the company.

“We believe that deepening engagement will enable us to take advantage of favorable global industry trends and drive long-term growth.”

Highlights of WWE Evolution are scheduled to include Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella, SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (Last Woman Standing Match), Trish Stratus and Lita vs. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James, NXT Women’s Champion Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler and a Women’s Battle Royal Match for a future Women’s Championship opportunity.

The event, in NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, is on PPV via WWE Network (7 PM ET).

As part of WWE Evolution, a Kickoff Show (6 PM ET) will feature Raw announcer Renee Young, SmackDown General Manager Paige and WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix.  

On a pre-show Red Carpet, Charly Caruso and Kayla Braxton “will be looking to catch the grandeur of the event from the outside, with exclusive interviews being conducted by Dasha Fuentes, Cathy Kelley and Sarah Schreiber.”

During WWE Evolution, Renee, The Glamazon and Michael Cole will call the action.

Ring announcers for the event will include Lilian Garcia, JoJo and Kayla Braxton.

WWE History With 62K+ In First Saudi Arabia Event

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