WWE chief executive officer Nick Khan spoke on CNBC on Friday following this week’s earnings report and early talks for a potential sale.
Khan compared WWE to “in essence, its own sports league” that a company could acquire adding that the “marketplace is robust for our product”.
This comment follows its disclosure of record earnings for 2022 that topped $1 billion in revenue for the second year in a row and net income of nearly $200 million for the year.
Regarding his involvement in the sale, Khan said that executive chairman Vince McMahon has made it clear he would be willing to step down and leave the company if it ensured a stronger return for investors regarding an acquisition. The same sentiment was shared on Thursday’s earnings call when Khan answered a question posited by analyst Brandon Ross of LightShed Partners.
Khan added that McMahon is not involved in the creative direction at all and has not interfered with Paul Leveque’s running of that department as its chief content officer.
Analyst David Farber shared their hesitancy towards Comcast as a potential buyer of WWE by stating, “probably not” regarding a deal. Khan responded, they are still “bullish” on Comcast, which holds the domestic rights to Raw, NXT, and the WWE Network streaming rights.
Farber did seem high on the potential of Endeavor as a potential buyer of the company and pairing WWE and UFC under the same corporate ownership structure.
On the streaming front, Khan acknowledged “it’s all about live” and while WWE’s library does provide good usage from Peacock for diehard fans, it’s all about the monthly premium live events that WWE produces.