WWNLive grossed hundreds of thousands of dollars in video sales annually from its events such as EVOLVE, if the data it gave FloSports is accurate. The data implies EVOLVE events grossed somewhere between $10,000 and $16,000 on average per event in 2015 and between $19,000 and $30,000 on average in 2016.
This is according to internet pay-per-view sales data provided to FloSports by WWN's Sal Hamoui in October 2016. The data was revealed publicly last week as a result of an email FloSports' filed in its lawsuit against WWN for allegedly providing false information to the multi-platform sports streaming company.
The email entails that for the full year of 2015, the entire WWN umbrella of wrestling brands earned a minimum of $330,000 and a maximum of $533,000 in revenue from video sales; the median of those limits is $431,000. For the first nine months of 2016 (just before WWN sign its deal with FloSports), WWN would have grossed at least $445,000 and no more than $715,000; a median of $580,000. So it's likely 2016 was a significantly better year for WWN's video sales than the prior year.
These numbers don't seem to account for the sale of "older titles" which Hamoui told FloSports "represent about 15% of our gross sales", in the aforementioned email.
This includes most WWN events during this period, but doesn't include some off-brand events the company streamed live.
We can only calculate a range for revenue rather than a specific number due to WWN's variety of price points. WWN offered lower price points if customers made purchases before the day of the event, a higher price for purchases made the day-of.
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Peak sales for EVOLVE in both years was during WrestleMania weekend. EVOLVE sold a total of 12,100 buys in 2015. Across the same number of events (17), the brand almost doubled that number in just the first nine months of 2016, with a total of 22,682 buys.
EVOLVE events during the weekend of Summerslam 2016 did nearly as well pre-WrestleMania events earlier that year, breaking 2,000 buys for each event during both weekends.
If WWN's data is legit, this means EVOLVE shows in 2015 mostly grossed around $10,000 each in video sales, and more for peak events. The following year, video revenue almost doubled, with many events likely bringing around $20,000, and peak events earning perhaps more than $40,000.
EVOLVE appeared to riding a wave of popularity going into its deal with FloSports, announced on October 24, 2016. Arguably EVOLVE was helped by its informal association with WWE. Then-regulars for EVOLVE, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa started appearing on NXT TV in early 2016. WWE gave EVOLVE a qualifying matches for the Cruiserweight Classic, tournament that aired on the WWE Network in the summer of 2016. The super indie was even featured on WWE.com and mentioned occasionally on WWE's social media.
The Cruiserweight Classic itself featured Gargano, Ciampa and more EVOLVE regulars: Drew Gulak, Cedric Alexander, Tony Nese and the eventual tournament winner TJ Perkins.
Of course when WWN's signed on with FloSports, WWE distanced itself from EVOLVE. It's conceivable FloSports' very signing of WWN itself, and WWE's reaction to that deal, made EVOLVE a less popular brand.
Google search data supports that notion, showing searches for EVOLVE began increasing in 2015 and into the next year, until about the time FloSports and WWN announced their partnership.
WWN's women's wrestling brand SHINE drew between 525 and 948 buys, each event grossing between around $10,000 and $18,000, if the data is correct.
Full Impact Pro, which some think of as the developmental promotion for EVOLVE, mostly did between 100 and 200 buys each, peaking at 288 and bottoming out at 24.
The FIP events' buys mostly brought in a few thousand dollars each.
EDIT: A previous version of this article overlooked data for miscellaneous WWN events, detailed below.
Based on that iPPV buy data, these events would have grossed the following ranges of revenue:
Follow Brandon on Twitter @Brandon Thurston. Email him at [email protected]. He co-hosts Wrestlenomics Radio, a podcast on wrestling business.
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