Yes WCW was losing money
All that just for you to basically agree that WCW was losing money?
WCW was somewhat exclusive to Turner networks long before Turner even purchased the company from the Crocketts. Aside from syndication, you've never seen WCW on any other networks. Big reason for that is WCW established TBS as a superstation and reached damn near every market in the country.
Here's how Meltzer breaks it down.
He suggests that in 1992, if WCW would book a PPV that drew 130,000 buyrates at $19.95, that would net the company about $1.2 million. In reality, the total revenue for the PPV would be over $2.5 million. So from my mathematics, that is the equivalent of 46% of the PPV revenue WCW was receiving.
Further more, he says if they run a PPV that draws 65,000 buys at $19.95, that would net them nearly $600,000, yet the actual total revenue would be about $1.3 million. Again, this comes out to 46% of PPV revenue going to WCW.
So, as long as WCW PPV's drew at least a 0.3 (65,000 buys) and they maintained at least a $31,000 house show gate, Meltzer basically says it could be lucrative. Problem is, they were making an average of $22,000 at the gate on house shows in the early 90s.
That lead to a financial loss on the wrestling expect. In turn, those in power tried to cut expenses, notably Bill Watts, who wanted to do away with all big contracts and pay guys between $350 to $1,000 a night, depending on card placement and with no guranteed dates. He also wanted to cut production costs, so he began taping months worth of television shows in Orlando, as they were able to rent the venue for cheap. And according to Watts, he took the losses from $8 million for the year before he joined to under $400,000 after 1 year in charge. People hated his style but he served his purpose and that was to cut expenses. And not sure how true but from what I've read, WCW lost $23 million in 1993 after Watts left.
Turner didn't care because he was just appreciative of what the original World Championship Wrestling program did for his empire. By the way, I'm quite sure the World Championship Wrestling name was around for at least 10 years before WCW, the company was formed, as Georgia Championship Wrestling and WWE at one point in 1984. Vince ended up buying out Georgia Championship Wrestling in 1984, and with that, acquired the Saturday night World Championship Wrestling timeslot, after Turner refused to sell him a timeslot. After various complaints, Turner offered Vince $1 million to get the timeslot, at which point JCP began using the timeslot.
So technically speaking, Turner already owned World Championship Wrestling (the name anyway) and the timeslot that the later WCW would continue to use for nearly 15 years. All he did was buy out Crockett and put it under the WCW umbrella, instead of JCP because, well, he owned the name "World Championship Wrestling", and because Crockett was in debt with too many people.