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August 21, 2015

Could This Year's SummerSlam Finally Break WWE Out Of Its Summer Slump?

WWE invades New York City this Sunday, when its annual SummerSlam pay-per-view event takes over Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. SummerSlam is widely considered WWE’s second-biggest event of the year, behind only WrestleMania. That might lead fans to think the mega-event is a big part of WWE’s annual business just like its spring counterpart - last year’s WrestleMania accounted for more than one-third of WWE’s total pay-per-view revenue - but it turns out that summer is actually the company’s worst financial season of the year.

WWE’s third quarter, in which SummerSlam falls, is traditionally home to the company’s least impressive performance in terms of revenue. Last year the company generated $120 million in Q3 revenue, $6 million less than any other quarter. In 2012, the company had income of $104 million during the summer months, while no other quarter had revenue under $115 million. And it’s been a consistent trend for nearly a decade.

From 2007 through 2014, Q3 has provided an average 22% of WWE’s annual revenue. The first and last quarters pull their weight at around 25% of yearly income apiece, while Q2, the usual home of WrestleMania, has averaged 28% in those years. After looking through the revenue segment breakdowns, it doesn’t seem like the income dip is driven by any single area, but is rather a general summer slowdown in the business.

This year’s event offers some reason for hope, though. With a much-anticipated rematch between Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker on the card and demand clearly up in a big way – the average SummerSlam ticket costs nearly $540 on the secondary market, the highest for any WWE event since 2010 – this may finally be the year that WWE is able to break out of its summer slump.

source: forbes.com

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