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WWE And UFC To Merge To Create $21.4bn Sports Entertainment Giant

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(CTN NEWS) – WWE is bidding farewell to its status as a family-run enterprise as it combines forces with the organization that oversees Ultimate Fighting Championship to form a $21.4 billion sports entertainment conglomerate.

Following its biggest event of the year, World Wrestling Entertainment revealed a deal with Endeavor on Monday that launches it into a new era after decades of being governed by the McMahon family.

In 1982, Vince McMahon bought Capitol Wrestling from his father.

With the help of athletes like Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, John Cena, and Dwayne “The Rock,” he expanded the wrestling industry to a nationwide audience.

The first WrestleMania was held in 1985 by the organization, which subsequently went by the names World Wrestling Entertainment and World Wrestling Federation.

In a CNBC interview, McMahon addressed skepticism among some WWE supporters and business insiders that he would ever strike a deal for the company. “Now is the ideal moment to act morally.

And it’s the next step in WWE’s development,” he said.

WWE and Endeavor stated in a presentation following the announcement of the deal that they would cross-promote to increase brand recognition and deeper penetration of their respective fan bases, which collectively number more than 700 million UFC fans and 1.2 billion WWE fans globally.

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There are already connections between WWE and UFC in terms of ability, as evidenced by the crossover of athletes like Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey.

The UFC and WWE brands will be housed by a new publicly traded entity, in which Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. will hold a 51% controlling interest. 49% of the shares will be held by current WWE stockholders.

The companies estimated UFC’s enterprise worth to be $12.1 billion, and WWE’s value to be $9.3 billion.

Ari Emanuel, the CEO of Endeavor, will be in charge of the new company, which has not yet been given a name. McMahon will hold the same position at the new business as he does at WWE as executive chairman.

In addition to Nick Khan leading WWE, Dana White will remain the UFC’s president.

With a combined fanbase of over a billion people and an exciting growth potential, McMahon said in a prepared statement on Monday that we will be a $21+ billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse.

He added that the new company would emphasize maximizing the value of combined media rights, enhancing sponsorship monetization, creating new types of content, and pursuing other strategic mergers and acquisitions to strengthen their identities.

Merchandise sales for WrestleMania 39 climbed 20% from a year earlier.

The news that WWE is being sold follows McMahon’s return to the organization in January, when he suggested that given the company’s rising popularity, it might be up for sale.

There were rumours that Endeavor, Disney, Fox, Comcast, Amazon, and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund were all interested in purchasing WWE.

McMahon claimed on CNBC that there were several potential purchasers for WWE, but that joining forces with Endeavor is the best course of action.

He said, “It makes perfect logic for all of these synergies that we have to extract all of the value we can from the marketplace.

Given its global appeal and devoted fan base, analysts in the media business thought WWE would make a compelling target.

WrestleMania, the company’s signature event, took place over the weekend. The two-day extravaganza, which took place at SoFi Stadium in California, broke the previous viewership mark on the first night by 28%.

It increased global viewership by 33% on the second night, breaking the previous mark. Sales of WrestleMania 39 merchandise increased 20% from the previous year. WWE earned $1.3 billion in income last year.

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The business is a dominant force in social media. In the final three months of last year, it eclipsed 16 billion views on social media videos. It has more than 20 million fans on TikTok and nearly 94 million YouTube subscribers.

Five of the top 15 most followed female athletes worldwide are its female wrestlers, headed by Rousey with 36.1 million followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In January and February of this year, WWE had more than 7.5 billion internet and social media views, an increase of 15% from the corresponding period in 2016.

More than 500 million views and 11 million hours of video were watched during WrestleMania 39, a 42% increase.

The new business will use the ticker code “TKO” to trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Eleven people will serve on its board, including six chosen by Endeavor and five chosen by WWE.

According to Jeffries analyst Randal Konik, “we like the assets of UFC and also WWE in a world where linear TV is losing market share to streaming, thus live sport content is in high demand.”

The deal is expected to conclude in the second half of the year after being approved by the boards of Endeavor and WWE. Regulators still need to approve it.

Although up 33% so far this year, shares of Stamford, Connecticut-based World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. dropped close to 4% on Monday. Shares of Beverly Hills, California-based Endeavor fell by more than 7%.

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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