The WWE Network had 1.389 million paid subscribers at the end of 2019 with 70,000 free subs for a total of 1.459 million subscribers. The total number of paid subscribers was down 9% from 2018, while total subscribers were down 6.6%.
Of the 1.459 million total subscribers, 1.048 million (-8% from 2018) were in the U.S. with the rest being international. Total paid subscribers were 996,000 U.S. and 393,000 being international. It is the first time since 2015 that U.S. paid total subscribers dropped below 1 million.
The average number of paid subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2019 was 1.419 million, down 10.5% from 1.585 million in 2018. The average number of paid domestic subscribers in the quarter was 1.024 million, down 11% from 1.156 million from the prior year quarter. For the year, the average number of paid subscribers was 1.55 million, down 6% from the year prior.
WWE Network revenues dropped 11% to $41.6 million in Q4 from $46.8 million in the same quarter the prior year. Overall, Network revenue was $184.6 million in 2019, a 7% decrease from $199.3 million in 2018.
WWE reported in their 2019 earnings report that the company was evaluating “strategic alternatives” for the WWE Network.
“The Company is pursuing several strategic initiatives that could increase the monetization of its content in 2020 and / or subsequent years,” WWE reported. “These include distribution of content in the Middle East and India as well as the evaluation of strategic alternatives for the Company’s direct-to-consumer service, WWE Network. At this time, the outcome of these initiatives is subject to considerable uncertainty.”
For this quarter, WWE projects average paid subscribers to increase to 1.47 million.