Despite WWE's continuing profits year to year, it appears the company has started to try to cut back on some expenses due to slower growth than anticipated.
The WWE Network continues to slowly grow as a whole, though the company had hoped that it would grow at a much faster rate. The addition of more monthly PPVs was an attempt at enticing more people to purchase the Network. In short, that hasn't worked out as well as WWE had predicted.
According to the Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer, WWE made approximately $30 million in profits last year. The company's outlook was that they would do a much bigger number this year. Sadly, they don't appear anywhere close to making that happen. According to Meltzer, WWE had made approximately $6 million dollars in profit so far this year, and we are obviously now past the halfway point of the year.
Due to the slower revenue growth than what was anticipated, WWE has started to make some small cutbacks in order to save money and boost revenue. Included has been less and less pyro, as you may have noticed by watching television. WWE had also been using pyro at untelevised live events as recently as last year, but that has now also been scrapped.
The company has also started to cancel or delay some of their original programming being produced for the WWE Network in an attempt to save some money by lowering production costs. Notable is the planned WWE United Kingdom show, which was expected to launch on the heels of the WWE U.K. Championship Tournament. Due to the costs of producing a show overseas, this has yet to become a reality.
Of course, WWE is not in any kind of financial trouble as of right now. The company has millions and millions of dollars in reserves due to many years of continuous profits. However, the growth that they had projected has not been a reality.
The hope was that WrestleMania this year would give a boost to the WWE Network subscriber tally. That did not happen. WWE closed quarter one (March 31) this year with 1.574 million subscribers; they closed quarter two (June 30) with 1.568 million subscribers. Though the company had 1.66 million subscribers the day after WrestleMania (boosting the quarterly average subscriber count to the highest yet), they had a record number of users cancel the service in the following three months (604,000).