WWE revealed their financial report for the first quarter of 2019, and its $182.4 million revenue was $5.3 million compared to the first quarter of 2018.
Worse yet, WWE outlined that net income was a loss of $8.4 million, compared to a $14.8 million income for the first quarter of last year. And finally, WWE had an operating income loss of $6.8 million, compared to a $21.8 million income from last year.
Well, WWE chairman Vince McMahon released a statement as part of the financial report. He cited that the absences of superstars played a factor in WWE's losses for the first quarter of 2019:
"During the quarter, we continued to execute our strategy and achieved targeted financial results.
While engagement metrics over the past two quarters were impacted by Superstar absences, we believe they will improve as our talent return and we launch our new season following a successful WrestleMania. We remain excited about the future, particularly with our debut on Fox in October."
Vince certainly does have a point here, as many of the WWE's top talents have missed plenty of time through the first four months of 2019. Roman Reigns only returned to WWE at the end of February after a battle with leukemia, and for a while, he was appearing on a part-time basis.
Seth Rollins and A.J. Styles were also nursing injuries and had to take some rest while easing back on their workloads, in order to ensure that they were both good to go for WrestleMania 35.
Matt Hardy missed seven months of action to recover from a back injury and only returned in February. Both Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens have missed significant time over the past calendar year and only recently returned.
At the same time, WWE has seen some of its television plummet aplenty during 2019, so it's clear that countless fans aren't pleased with the current product. Injuries and absences to key stars can't be used as the only reason why WWE had significant losses in its first quarter of 2019, and it'll be interesting to see how they try to rebound through the second quarter.
What This Means
Well, most of the WWE roster - especially its main event stars - are fully healthy and appearing on a weekly basis now. If WWE has more financial losses over the next quarter, it's going to be another sign that the fans want to see a better product. It's up to McMahon and the creative team to do that, otherwise, it's hard to see how they can rebound after a brutal January-to-March stretch.