[WWE] Business Information & Wellness Policy Info

More WWE business notes have been released after some SEC filings this past week:

Note: ‘2006’ refers to the period from May ’05 to April ’06, and ‘2005’ to the same period the prior year.

Average North American attendance 2005: 4,250, paying $164,093
Average North American attendance 2006: 4,990, paying $186,327 (+14%)

Average international attendance 2005: 9,070, paying $675,987
Average international attendance 2006: 9,160, paying $633,689 (-7%)

Total North American attendance 2005: 1,173,000
Total North American attendance 2006: 1,237,520 (+6%)

Total international attendance 2005: 444,430
Total international attendance 2006: 476,320 (+7%)

Arena merchandise sales total 2005: $15,430,282
Arena merchandise sales total 2006: $18,115,288 (+17%)
increase largely attributed to John Cena merchandise

Average cost of running a live event: $189,667

Average profit of a live event: $60,333
will fall due to ECW tours

Average cost of running a PPV event 2005: $2,592,857
Average cost of running a PPV event 2006: $2,637,500 (+2%)
inflated by the Big Four events

Average gross of a PPV event 2005: $6,012,568
Average gross of a PPV event 2006: $5,835,335 (-3%)
inflated by the Big Four events

Average number of PPV purchases 2005: 377,200
Average number of PPV purchases 2006: 390,069 (+3%)

Total TV revenue 2005: $127,200,000
Total TV revenue 2006: $109,100,000 (-14%)
decrease due to lack of ad revenue from old Spike TV contract, offset slightly by cutting back the ad department and not paying ad commissions

Average cost of producing Raw or Smackdown: $527,451

Total international TV fees 2005: $24,800,000
Total international TV fees 2006: $28,500,000 (+15%)
increase due largely to new TV deals in India and South Korea

Licensing total 2005 – $20,900,000
Licensing total 2006 – $32,200,000 (+54%)
$4.2 million increase in toys, $4.1 million increase in video games

Total DVD profit 2005 – $9,900,000
Total DVD profit 2006 – $24,000,000 (+167%)

Profit by category 2006:
– Live events made $18.1 million in tickets, $4.1 million in merchandise (12.3% of total)
– PPVs made $56.6 million (31.5% of total)
– TV productions made $40.4 million (22.5% of total)
– Licensing made $23.7 million (13.2% of total)
– Magazine sales made $4.2 million (2.3% of total)
– DVD sales made £24 million (13.3% of total)
– WWE.com made $4.5 million on ads, $4.3 million in orders (4.9% total)

– WWE 24/7 has 13,000 North American subscribers.
– Smackdown vs. Raw sold 2.9 million units this past year.
– WrestleMania: The Anthology sold 30,000 units at about $240 each for $7.2 million gross.
– 24% of all WWE income is from outside North America.
– $881,000 was spent on acquiring film libraries (Florida and AWA) as of 30th April 2006.
– WWE currently employs 460 office workers and 165 contracted wrestlers.
– The company listed its biggest stars as Triple H, John Cena, Batista, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, The Undertaker, Rey Mysterio, Booker T, The Big Show and Kane.
– As of the 1st July, all personal use of the “Air McMahon” company jet will be paid for by the McMahon family and not the company. The estimated cost of these non-business flights over the past year was $194,000.


The Wellness Policy does have a loophole that no other sports do, which is that steroids are allowed provided that the user has a prescription for treatment and healing of injuries. As most wrestlers in WWE have such injuries, it is not difficult to get a prescription, which is what many of them were doing before the policy came into place (this was also being done for Growth Hormone, which is impossible to test for). One wrestler did recently get into trouble for using steroids after his prescription had expired. The main prohibition in the policy is not actually using any of the listed drugs that it bans but in being caught with them – “Any talent who is arrested, convicted or who admits to a violation of law relating to use, possession, purchase, sale or distribution of prohibited drugs will be in material breach of contract and subject to immediate dismissal.”

Credit: Wrestling Observer newsletter (click here for subscription information)