The WWE may be something that, if you don’t follow it, you may not know just how popular it is. Earlier this month, WWE Friday Night SmackDown on Fox brought in over 2.25 million viewers. WWE Raw brought in over 1.8 million subscribers back on February 12th, 2023. Many shows and other sports leagues could only of getting numbers like that.
Now it is being reported that Vince McMahon, the owner, is looking to sell the WWE for $9 billion. How does that compare to other sports brands that have recently been sold? Right now, the Denver Broncos are pending a sale to the Walton-Penner group for $6.5 billion. A bundle deal for the Phoenix Suns and Mercury was sold for $4 billion. The New York Mets sold for $2.4 billion, according to ESPN.
This price of $9 billion may seem to be a crazy high price, but live events like the WWE Friday Night SmackDown on Fox are very attractive to broadcasters right now as they bring in viewers live. This means they see the ads driving up higher ad revenues. That is why Fox is paying $205 million per year for WWE SmackDown.
Cord cutting may have an unexpected impact on sports. Increasingly as sports is one of the few remaining programs that people watch live, the price for sporting rights has skyrocketed. The Big Ten recently stuck a 7-year $7 billion media rights deal with Fox, CBS, and NBC.
The WWE seems to be hoping to cash in on this boon for sporting events in order to get a high sale price.