Sphere Brings In $314M In First Full Quarter

SPHERE AS CANVAS: Artist Refik Anadol used the Exosphere’s 580,000 square feet of fully programmable LED paneling on Sept. 1 to debut his work “Machine Hallucinations: Sphere.” Photo by Sphere Entertainment

Sphere Entertainment — which operates Sphere in Las Vegas and also includes MSG Networks’ regional business — posted $314M in the the second quarter of its fiscal year, the first full reporting period as a public company.

Sphere itself represented the bulk of that revenue — $167.8 million against MSG Network’s $146.4 million. Still, the company reporting an operating loss of $159.7 million, even after it was buoyed by a relatively strong $34.2 million bottom line from the networks sector.

The overwhelming majority of Sphere’s revenues came from Darren Aronofsky’s film “Postcard from Earth,” with $92.9 million generated over 191 performances — roughly $1 million per day. Other performance-related revenue — primarily 23 “U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At Sphere” shows, though there was also some revenue connected to Formula 1’s Las Vegas Grand Prix in November — totaled $55.2 million. Advertising and partnerships — essentially the use of the exterior of Sphere, plus suite license revenue — came in at $17.5 million. That number is sure to increase in the third quarter with the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

Much of the operating loss is non-cash and the company ascribes it to its decision to abandon its plans for Sphere London.

On the news, Sphere stock is up about $2.60 from its open, trading at $38.04 at midday.