Endeavor, the international entertainment agency giant, posted a net loss of $307.5 million during the second quarter of 2021, despite a significant year-on-year upturn in revenue to $1.1 billion.

The company, the assets of which include IMG, yesterday announced its second set of financial results since becoming a public business in April.

Its revenue soared in the three months from April to June, with the figure of $1.1 billion up from $462 million for the same period in 2020 as the return of live events and live sport after the lengthy coronavirus-enforced suspension last year delivered a substantial increase in income.

The loss, therefore, was mainly down to increased operating expenses and administration costs, with all expenses coming to $1.41 billion, over a 50 per cent rise from $714 million for the second quarter of 2020. 

The upturn in revenue amongst Endeavor’s owned sports properties, which include mixed martial arts’ Ultimate Fighting Championship and a share in a joint venture for Euroleague Basketball, the organiser of the sport’s top competitions in Europe, meant revenue from that sector came to $258.9 million during the quarter, up 70 per cent year-on-year from $152.3 million.

Earnings from the sector before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were $132.3 million, up $66.8 million from the same period last year.

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The company said that UFC had secured the best financial half-year in its history, thanks to the three sold-out pay-per-view events in the second quarter. 

UFC is perceived to have emerged from last year’s sports stoppage in good health, buoyed by strong demand for its pay-per-view events and the ongoing five-year deal with US sports broadcaster ESPN, which runs to 2023 and is worth $1.5 billion.

Endeavor has projected its total revenue figure for 2021 as between $4.8 and $4.85 billion, a small upwards adjustment from the revenue it had projected when unveiling its first-quarter results in June. 

Revenue from events, experiences and rights increased by $408.8 million year-on-year, to $528.7 million, thanks to higher rights fees derived from European soccer competitions in the second quarter. EBITDA for that sector also improved year-on-year, up to $36.8 million (from a negative figure last year). 

Income from representation, meanwhile, also increased year-on-year from 2020, up to $328.2 million, an increase of $135.4 million (70 per cent). Ebitda therefore also rose, coming to $61.7 million.

The adjusted EBITDA for the year is now expected to come to between $765 million and $775 million, while total debt now stands at $5.35 billion, down year-on-year from $5.87 billion due to a repayment of $600 million in outstanding loans that Endeavor made recently.

Reflecting on the results, Ariel Emanuel, Endeavor’s chief executive, said: “As you look at the trends defining our industries – marked by the growing demand for content, the increased value of the talent and brands behind that content, and the desire of people to come together around live events and experiences – Endeavor remains firmly and uniquely positioned for a strong second half of 2021.”

As coronavirus restrictions are lifted, Endeavor anticipates growth in the experiences business, including premium hospitality subsidiary On Location, which provides services for leagues and events including the NFL, college sports’ NCAA and golf’s US PGA Championship.

In early June, it was announced that On Location will be the exclusive service provider for a new centralised hospitality offering of the International Olympic Committee in a deal covering the Paris 2024 Olympics, Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics and Los Angeles 2028 Olympics.

At the end of the second quarter, meanwhile, the International Cricket Council announced it was working with the Endeavor Streaming subsidiary on its new streaming platform, ICC.tv.

The free-to-view service launched for the World Test Championship Final in June between India and New Zealand, which was available live across the globe in territories without broadcasting rights deals for the match.

Endeavor Streaming was appointed by the ICC to be the provider of the streaming platform.

The subsidiary offers a variety of prominent live sports events and premium services in multiple markets, including WWE’s WrestleMania and WWE Network, UFC shows and the UFC Fight Pass, Glory kickboxing events, NBA League Pass, Univision Now and PrendeTV.