World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.'s digital subscription service, WWE Network, climbed to 1.95 million subscribers, excluding pay-per-view buys with cable and satellite providers, following the company's "WrestleMania" April 2 event.
This represents a 7% increase from April 4, 2016, the day after 2016's "WrestleMania." The company said total domestic subscribers increased 4% to 1.45 million, while total international subscribers jumped 15% to 497,000 from April 4, 2016, the day after "WrestleMania" in 2016.
As of April 3, the platform had 1.66 million paid subscribers, which includes 1.24 million domestic and 424,000 international subscribers. Based on preliminary data, WWE Network attracted an average of about 1.49 million subscribers over the first quarter, up 16% from 2016's first-quarter average.
The rise in the company's stock during the first quarter resulted in an increase in stock compensation expense. Based on the increase and the timing of other items having an effect on company results, the company expects its first-quarter adjusted OIBDA to be between $3 million and $5 million, down from the previously expected range of $23 million to $27 million.
For the second quarter, if the acquisition and retention of subscribers driven by "WrestleMania" remain consistent with the subscriber activity associated with 2016's event, the range of average paid subscribers would be 1.63 million, representing an increase of about 8% from the second quarter of 2016.