But it’s finding revenue via digital distribution of its programming.
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.’s web sales declined 4.8% during the fourth quarter of 2012 from the same period a year ago, the company, No. 492 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported yesterday.
For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2012, World Wrestling reported:
Online sales accounted for 5.1% of total sales in Q4 2011, down from 5.5% a year ago.
For the year ended Dec. 31:
Online sales accounted for 3.05% of total sales in 2012 compared with 3.2% in 2011.
Although direct-to-consumer merchandise sales on the web declined during the quarter and the year, World Wrestling Entertainment reported a jump in revenue derived from digital content distribution—making it a more lucrative web asset to WWE than selling material goods online at WWEShop. The company says this includes original short-form video content it licenses to Google Inc.’s YouTube and to video-streaming site Hulu. Since September 2012, WWE TV programming has been available to Hulu paid subscribers the day after it airs on television. WWE reports revenue from its digital content increased 129.6% to $6.2 million from $2.7 million in the fourth quarter. For the year, this revenue increased 57.6% to $19.7 million from $12.5 million.