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WWE sale: 4 buyer options if Vince McMahon sells the family biz soon

Jason Burgos

The idea of a WWE sale has been bandied about in recent years, and the timing feels as good as ever. The WWE’s value is at a peak after producing another highly successful Wrestlemania card earlier this month. The organization is publicly traded and has massive broadcast partnerships with FOX, the USA Network, and the streaming service Peacock.

Yet what makes the possibility of a WWE sale realistic — beyond the rumors — is that the company’s day-to-day leader, Vince McMahon, is 76-years-old. Obviously, he isn’t your average man closing in on 80, and him taking a stunner from Stone Cold Steve Austin at ‘Mania is proof of that. Yet, sooner or later his run will come to an end. Father time will remain undefeated.

Why a WWE sale soon is possible

wwe sale
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The WWE’s current broadcast deals end in 2023, and they will need to negotiate new contracts before then. Instead of McMahon and his family continuing on with their pro wrestling circus, there is a real possibility they could decide to offer up the whole company to major media conglomerates looking for a huge inventory of content and money-making opportunities that they can control.

Media giants like Amazon, Netflix, Disney, and FOX are always looking to work with strong content brands. However, the entertainment industry is trending in the direction of these companies outright buying leagues or organizations instead of forming partnerships. Just like when Disney almost bought the UFC in 2016, and how Liberty Media purchased Formula One the same year. And a big corporation owning a wrestling promotion is not unfamiliar territory. One-time industry giant WCW was previously owned by the defunct AOL/Time Warner.

If such an event came to pass and WWE was up for sale, here are four massive companies that would likely be in the running for the top sports entertainment show in the world.

WWE joins the diverse mouse house portfolio at Disney

wwe sale
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Disney has been snapping up major brands for the last decade. They purchased Marvel Studios and the rights to the Star Wars franchise. Turning them both into billion-dollar cash machines. The company also bout 21st Century Fox and all the toys and studios that come with it.

As mentioned before, they almost purchased the UFC before former head Bob Iger had second thoughts about adding caged violence to their portfolio. However, choreographed violence with real-life superheroes is right down their alley. WWE could be a major feature of Disney+, the promotion’s stars could sell toys, and have their faces plastered on rides at Disney Land. WWE superstars are the closest thing in existence to an actual version of a Marvel character. And Disney knows how to make billions off heroes.

FOX makes an even bigger investment in sports entertainment

wwe sale
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

FOX is already a current broadcast partner with the WWE, airing episodes of Smackdown on Friday nights. They would love to own their most successful television product in the NFL. That is not an option. However, owning the year-round content-creating machine that is WWE makes a lot of sense. Owning instead of working with is where the real money is.

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Owning WWE would really help in turning the FOX Now app into something that people actually care about and would give the company the controllable entertainment producer it is severely lacking.

Comcast makes WWE more than just a feature on Peacock

wwe sale
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Comcast, the third richest media company in the world, is similar to Disney in that it has various ways it can make the most of WWE branding beyond just its broadcast platforms NBC and the Peacock. However, owning the company instead of having to get in a bidding war for television deals would be far easier in the future.

Not to mention NBC has lacked worthwhile entertainment outside sitcoms and dramas for two decades. One NFL game a week just isn’t going to cut it if the company wants to pull more money out of the all-important 18 to 49 demographic of viewers.

Viacom steals content from the competition

wwe sale
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

While Viacom isn’t as big a fish as Comcast or Disney in the media world — it’s bigger than FOX — buying up WWE might help in getting them a little closer. Similar to FOX, it wishes it could own the NFL. Also similar to its counterpart in the football broadcast game, it has a streaming service in Paramount+ that hasn’t resonated quite like the competition.

Having an asset like WWE would be massive for Paramount+ and help the service become a far greater revenue source. As one of the bottom 10 conglomerates in the industry, Viacom can’t get into billion-dollar bidding wars for WWE content every few years. Buying up the whole organization would be a far better long-term option.