Here is an interesting breakdown of WWE’s finances, according to Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter this week.


Profits

Here is a breakdown of WWE’s profits in millions for each category in 2016, 2015 and 2014.

Category 2016 2015 2014
Live events (tickets & merch) $51.6 $46.9 $35.5
PPV/Network $43.0 $48.4 -$1.8
Television $119.8 $97.0 $61.9
Licensing $27.4 $28.8 $21.0
Home video $5.3 $4.6 $15.0
Web (web/YouTube/shop) $12.3 $9.5 $3.8
WWE Films -$0.2 -$1.5 $0.5
Corporate expenses -$178.7 -$172.1 -$151.4


Notes

Here are a few notes of interest:

– 2016 was the highest revenue year in WWE history. However, their expenses have also gone up, so it is not as profitable as most of 1998-2010.

– In 2016, WWE generated $729,216,000 in revenue with $33,725,000 in profits. Both up from 2015, which saw $658,768,000 in revenue and $23,927,000 in profits.

– The $33.725 million in profits were still not enough to cover the annual dividend payment to shareholders, which was $37,218,720. 46.5% of that ($17,306,700) went to Vince McMahon. Because of this, WWE had to go into their cash reserves last year.

– Live event revenue was $144.4 million in 2016, up from $124.7 million in 2015.

– WWE shows (not including NXT) had an attendance of 2,101,000 people on 344 events in 2016.

– NXT event revenue was $6.98 million on 189 shows, with an average attendance of 995.

– Merchandise sold at live events brought in $24.2 million.

– WWE Shop brought in $34.6 million in revenue last year, averaging 2,108 orders per day.

– WWE spends around $1.1 million for each episode of Raw and Smackdown.

– WWE is the second biggest seller of action figures in the US, behind Star Wars.


WWE Profits 1994-2016

Here is a yearly breakdown of WWE’s profit/loss history. Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Year Total Revenue Profit/Loss
1994-95 $87,352,00 -$4,431,000
1995-96 $85,815,000 $3,319,000
1996-97 $81,863,000 -$6,505,000
1997-98 $126,231,000 $8,446,000
1998-99 $251,474,000 $56,030,000
1999-00 $373,100,000 $68,973,000
2000-01 $456,043,000 $15,987,000
2001-02 $409,622,000 $42,233,000
2002-03 $374,364,000 -$19,455,000
2003-04 $374,909,000 $48,192,000
2004-05 $366,431,000 $39,147,000
2005-06 $400,051,000 $47,047,000
2006 (5/06 to 12/06) $262,937,000 $31,617,000
2007 $485,655,000 $52,137,000
2008 $526,457,000 $45,416,000
2009 $471,161,000 $50,303,000
2010 $477,655,000 $53,452,000
2011 $483,921,000 $24,832,000
2012 $484,000,000 $31,400,000
2013 $508,000,000 $2,800,000
2014 $542,600,000 -$30,100,000
2015 $658,768,000 $23,927,000
2016 $729,216,000 $33,725,000

2001: WWE lost $68,994,000 on the XFL. NBC lost another $68,994,000.

2003: WWE lost $35,557,000 on “The World” / WWF New York restaurant.

2011-2014: WWE lost $40 million+ on its movie division and several millions in start-up costs for WWE Network.