In what seems to be the most serendipitous timing in history, TKO Holdings was able to close a monumental deal with Netflix worth $5B to run WWE content over the next ten years. As a matter of fact, the press release announcing the broadcast partnership came just two days ahead of the bombshell exposé the Wall Street Journal did on former WWE head and TKO executive board member Vince McMahon. Very serendipitous, indeed.
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Netflix is paying $5B for WWE content
The horrific details were gathered from a lawsuit filed the morning of January 25th by a former WWE employee. The Wall Street Journal had been notified in advance and the story was ready to go as soon as the lawsuit was filed. The damning article unsurprisingly went viral, eliciting a universal response of disgust across the sports and entertainment community, even carried as the lead news story on some mainstream networks. The following day, the disgraced McMahon resigned from his roles at WWE and TKO Holdings.
The WWE continued onward with their weekend Royal Rumble event, and in the leadup to the festivities, Paul Levesque (aka Triple H) would dodge questions about his father-in-law, stating that he’d “rather focus on the positive,” indicating the conversation needed to keep moving. That exchange can be seen here:
It’s not hard to imagine Netflix’s horror now that their landmark deal has been marred by McMahon’s alleged misdeeds which include sexual assault and sex trafficking. With the UFC’s broadcast partnership with ESPN coming to a close at year’s end, their insatiable need for bigger deals could be realized with one of the streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon or even Apple.
Could the UFC be facing a more arduous battle in convincing their next broadcast partner (be it a renewed deal with ESPN or a new one with someone else) to pony up a king’s ransom for their content now that McMahon and other WWE officials (and even a heavyweight superstar) have been named in the lawsuit and the focal point of the WSJ post? Our trio of analysts examined all the particulars and even discussed how Dwayne “Rock” Johnson’s new role as a TKO Holdings board member was ushered in with the Netflix deal.
What else did you cover besides WWE’s Netflix deal?
But that’s not all. The guys also gave us an update on the UFC antitrust case with the new, official date for the trial and how long it’s expected to proceed. There was also plenty of lively discussion on how cleverly the defendants delayed the case, and what losing could look like for them.
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