crown jewel

Following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, WWE Crown Jewel has become one of the company’s most controversial events ever.

However, despite the pressure to pull the event out of Saudi Arabia, WWE confirmed in their Q3 earnings report that Crown Jewel will move ahead as planned. An excerpt from the report reads as follows:

“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 November 2 in Riyadh. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event. Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled.”

Other highlights from the Q3 earnings report include the following:

  • Revenues reached $188.4 million for the third quarter 2018 and a record $657.7 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, representing 12% growth over the prior year period
  • Operating income was $18.1 million. Adjusted OIBDA1 of $35.8 million exceeded the Company’s guidance
  • 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

Vince McMahon also commented on the company’s third quarter earnings and long term growth.

“During the quarter, we remained keenly focused on deepening engagement with our global fan base by delivering compelling original content across media platforms,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that deepening engagement will enable us to take advantage of favorable global industry trends and drive long-term growth.”

It appears that unless something major happens over the next week, WWE Crown Jewel will be taking place from Saudi Arabia on November 2.