The WWE has reportedly been looking for a buyer for some time now, and it may have found a buyer with the UFC parent company Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor Group, according to a report from CNBC.
The sale would reportedly set the value of WWE at about $9.3 billion. This is in line with what Vince McMahon, the owner, is looking to sell for as it was reported he wanted $9 billion for the WWE. 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.
With this deal, Endeavor will get 51% ownership, and WWE shareholders would get 49% ownership. This deal would merge WWE and UFC into a single publicly traded company.
In March 2023, 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.
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.
For now, we will have to wait and see if this deal becomes official later this month.