NXT might feel like the best thing about WWE right now, but if it were its own company then it would likely be losing quite a lot of money.
A lot of fans are becoming disillusioned with WWE right now and it's easy to understand why. WWE might continue to try to deny this and bury their heads in the sand but the numbers don't lie. TV ratings for both Raw and SmackDown Live are on a serious decline and as Vince McMahon demonstrated via his wildcard rule this week, he doesn't know how to stop it.
Not everything about WWE is bad right now, though. Network subscribers will know all too well that not only is NXT great, it might be the best it has ever been. That bodes well for the entire future of WWE since Triple H will presumably be taking the reigns from Mr. McMahon one day. NXT is often seen as being separate from WWE because of how different it is, but could it actually survive on its own?
Triple H has claimed in the past that NXT is actually a profitable branch of WWE. However, Wrestling Observer Newsletter's breakdown of WWE's expenses and income would suggest otherwise. Sports Business Journal reports that WWE's developmental talent earn around $80,000 each per year. WON estimates that means NXT is spending roughly $8 million a year on wages.
Thanks to NXT being a traveling brand, it earns back most of that wage expenditure through ticket sales. The black and yellow brand makes $6.4 million a year through ticket sales, and another $1 million selling merchandise. Based on that alone, the brand would almost break even. However, how much it costs to tape the show, to pay for Superstars' hotel and travel, and a lack of TV revenue means that NXT would not be a profitable company if it were not under the WWE umbrella.
All of that being said, Triple H is not necessarily lying when he says that NXT is profitable. There are a number of different factors that can be monetized or calculated to an exact amount. WWE Network subscriptions, for instance. A number of fans likely have the Network so that they can watch NXT. The Game could also claim that a large chunk of WWE's main roster revenue is thanks to NXT since most of it is made up of stars who came through Full Sail.