The potential sale of WWE continues to be a heavily-discussed topic and one of the top media analysts shared his thoughts on potential suitors.
Brandon Ross of LightShed Media spoke with Brandon Thurston and Jesse Collings of Wrestlenomics regarding Vince McMahon’s exit from WWE and the installation of Nick Khan and Stephanie McMahon-Levesque as co-CEOs with Paul Levesque overseeing all creative for WWE.
Ross shared the reaction from the investment community and how focused they are on a possible sale of WWE, a story which is believed to have held up the company’s stock despite the significant turnover of its outgoing chairman and CEO:
That potential sale has been the number one focus of investors, really since the allegations against Vince (McMahon) came out at the very beginning. There’s always been this idea that, look, WWE is a pretty small company – there are a ton of larger entities that are looking for content, especially live content and they’d be a natural acquisition target for a number of companies. The big question on everyone’s mind is does WWE want to sell or not? And if you dial back or peel back that question, does the McMahon family want to sell or not?
During the interview, they discussed potential buyers of the company and which would make the most sense. Ross spoke about Endeavor, which purchased the UFC in July 2016, and outlined why it would make sense for Endeavor to explore an acquisition of WWE:
If you look at the UFC acquisition and how that was handled, they allowed Dana (White) and UFC to run as their own separate entity while leveraging all the infrastructure of Endeavor to help make them better and unlock revenue opportunities. I think a really good example of that is on the sponsorship side and we all know that WWE has really been under-monetized from the sponsorship perspective for a long time. Also, if you look at, where does the profitability of this business come from? It’s on those types of rights deals and Nick (Khan) is amazing at that, we all know his history at CAA and the involvement he’s had in the past on this. But Ari Emanuel is certainly no slouch and the idea of teaming those two up, you basically have a dream team approaching these types of negotiations as well.
Ross also spoke about the viability of NBC Universal, Apple, and Fox and their business strategies as they would relate to a potential acquisition.
The full interview with Brandon Ross is available on the Wrestlenomics YouTube channel.