CNBC reported that Endeavor would obtain a 51 % stake in the WWE and merge it with UFC in a new firm that would be headed by Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Pictures)
Hours just before its signature occasion, WrestleMania 39, got underway Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, a report on CNBC.com indicated that UFC parent firm Endeavor was poised to buy the WWE, the world’s major wrestling brand, in a mega-deal.
CNBC reported that Endeavor would obtain a 51 % stake in the WWE and merge it with UFC in a new firm that would be headed by Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel.
WWE CEO Nick Khan did not respond to requests for comment from Yahoo Sports.
Endeavor acquired controlling interest in the UFC in a huge $four.25 billion deal in 2016. It purchased out the remaining shareholders in 2021 to grow to be one hundred % owners. On the Endeavor earnings get in touch with Feb. 28, Emanuel mentioned income in its owned sports division was $301.four million, up 9% year more than year. He credited that to larger rights costs at UFC, spend-per-view income, sponsorship and licensing.
Emanuel was asked about a prospective buy of the WWE on that earnings get in touch with. He mentioned then of WWE executive chairman Vince McMahon, “His company is definitely worthwhile.” But Emanuel also mentioned, “We’re not going to do something that would raise our leverage at this point in time.”
The combined UFC-WWE firm will give Endeavor a ratings monster. Sportico reported on Friday that the WWE’s “WWE Raw,” which airs on USA network, is the highest-rated show on cable. It averages 1.83 million viewers, a 9% year-more than-year raise. Most importantly, it really is averaging 695,049 viewers in the 18-49-year-old demographic, creating it initially in that demo and an 18% raise more than 2022.
Similarly, the UFC has performed wonderful numbers. At its final show, a mid-afternoon card on ESPN on March 25 in San Antonio, Texas, it attracted 976,000 viewers, placing it sixth on cable for the day. Nos. 1 by means of five have been all from the NCAA basketball tournament.
The WWE’s tv contracts expire in October 2024, and Sportico reported Friday that Khan was prepared to start negotiations on new offers Monday.
According to the CNBC report, the Endeavor-WWE deal could be announced as quickly as Monday.