The news has been making rounds that Fox has bought WWE. Let’s take a look at the facts and see if there’s any truth to the matter.
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Fox Corporation, parent company to Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and Fox Sports, among other properties, is close to acquiring WWE, according to a new report.
History of WWE
In January 2019, rumors began to circulate that The Walt Disney Company might be interested in purchasing WWE. This rumor gained traction when it was reported that Vince McMahon had sold $100 million worth of WWE stock.
However, on February 7th, 2019, it was announced that 21st Century Fox had reached a deal to sell the majority of its assets to The Walt Disney Company. As part of the deal, Fox’s sports channels, including Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2, were not included in the sale.
This led to speculation that WWE could be included in the sale, as Fox had previously shown interest in purchasing the company. However, on March 20th, 2019, it was announced that WWE had not been included in the deal and was not for sale.
The McMahon Family
In recent months, there have been rumors that the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) might be sold to Fox. These rumors have been fueled by the fact that the WWE’s current contract with NBCUniversal is set to expire in 2019.
The McMahon family is the principal owner of the WWE, with Vince McMahon holding a majority stake. Vince’s wife, Linda McMahon, is also a major shareholder and serves as the company’s President and CEO. The couple’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon, is the WWE’s Chief Brand Officer.
The McMahons have been linked with Fox before, as Vince McMahon used to be a commentator on Fox Sports’ NFL coverage. In fact, it was during his time at Fox that McMahon came up with the idea for the XFL, a football league that was jointly owned by NBC and the WWE.
So far, neither Fox nor the WWE has commented on the rumors. However, given the close relationship between the two parties, it would not be surprising ifFox did indeed purchase the wrestling company.
WWE’s Financial Struggles
WWE is a publicly traded company, and as such, is required by law to release quarterly and annual financial reports. These reports are closely scrutinized by the business world and WWE’s investors. In recent years, WWE’s financial reports have shown a company in decline.
Revenues have been on the decline for several years now, and in 2016, WWE reported its first ever operating loss. This was followed by another operating loss in 2017. While WWE did return to profitability in 2018, its operating income was still down year-over-year.
WWE’s declining fortunes have led to speculation that the company might be sold or acquired. In particular, there have been rumors that Fox might buy WWE.
However, it should be noted that WWE has denied any such rumors and has stated that it is not for sale.
Rumors of a Fox-WWE Deal
Rumors have been swirling that Fox is interested in purchasing WWE, and though no deal has been officially announced, many insiders believe it is only a matter of time.
If the rumors are true, it would mean a major change for WWE, which has been with NBCUniversal for over two decades. NBC has been a supportive partner for WWE, but Fox is seen as a more natural fit given its history with professional wrestling.
Fox has a long history with professional wrestling, dating back to the 1950s when it aired live wrestling on Saturday nights. In the 1980s and 1990s, Fox was the home of WCW Monday Nitro, which helped make pro wrestling must-see TV.
More recently, Fox aired WWE Smackdown from 1999 to 2005 before the show moved to NBC. Insiders believe that Fox is interested in bringing Smackdown back to its network as part of a deal with WWE.
While no deal has been announced, it is believed that Fox is interested in acquiring WWE because of its live programming and family-friendly content. With the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, live sports and event programming are seen as valuable commodities.
WWE Raw and Smackdown are both two-hour live shows that air weekly on Monday and Tuesday nights respectively. In addition to its regular programming, WWE also produces special events like WrestleMania, which draws millions of viewers worldwide.
WWE’s programming is seen as valuable because it appeals to a wide audience including children and families. That kind of programming is rare these days, which is why many believe that Fox will ultimately acquire WWE.
The Impact of a Fox-WWE Deal
On the surface, it would appear that Fox has made a wise investment. WWE is a proven product with a passionate fan base, and its weekly programming is a consistent ratings winner. The acquisition also gives Fox a foothold in the live event business, which is enormously popular with younger viewers.
However, there are some potential challenges that could arise from this deal. First of all, WWE programming is not without its critics. Some feel that the product is too flashy and over-the-top, and that it relies too heavily on shock value rather than substance. Additionally, the live event business can be notoriously unpredictable, and it’s not uncommon for fans to be disappointed with the outcome of a show.
Ultimately, only time will tell whether Fox’s acquisition of WWE was a wise move. But there’s no doubt that it’s a major coup for the company, and it will be interesting to see how this new relationship unfolds.
What a Fox-WWE Deal Means for the Future
Fox’s $1 billion deal to air WWE Smackdown Live on its broadcast network starting in 2019 means a few things for both the cable network and pro wrestling’s biggest company.
First and foremost, it’s a boon for WWE, which has been looking to increase its live programming as ratings for its flagship shows have dipped in recent years. And while $1 billion is a lot of money, it’s important to remember that WWE Smackdown is currently the second-highest rated show on USA Network behind only Monday Night Raw, so it’s not as if Fox is taking a risk here.
As for what this means for Fox, it continues the network’s push into live sports programming. In addition to NFL and college football games, Fox also airs MLB and NASCAR races, and now they can add pro wrestling to that mix. It also helps that WWE has a massive built-in audience that is sure to tune in every week, which is something that other networks can’t say for their live sports coverage.
WWE’s Global Expansion
Since the early 2000s, WWE has been working diligently to globalize its brand. The company has aired its programming in 170 countries and 35 languages, and currently boasts approximately 500 million weekly global TV viewers. WWE has also established a presence in merchandise, live events, and digital media in order to reach as many fans as possible. In recent years, WWE has been working to expand its live event business by holding more international events and partnering with local promoters. The company has also been investing in digital media in order to better reach its global audience.
In May of 2018, it was reported that 21st Century Fox had held discussions to purchase WWE. While no deal was ultimately reached, this rumor highlights WWE’s increasing value as a global media property. If WWE continues to expand its reach around the world, it is likely that the company will continue to be the subject of acquisition rumors in the future.
On Thursday, reports began to circulate that the Walt Disney Company was in talks to sell 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets to Comcast. Among the properties included in the sale is Fox’s stake in the professional wrestling company WWE.
While it is still unclear if the sale will go through, and what it would mean for WWE if it did, the speculation has already led to some interesting conversations about the future of the company. One possibility that has been floated is that Fox could use WWE as a way to revive its failed football league, the XFL.
The XFL was a joint venture between NBC and WWE that launched in 2001. The league lasted just one season before folding due to poor ratings and attendance. If Fox were to purchase WWE, it could potentially use the wrestling company’s popularity to relaunch the XFL as a successful venture.
Of course, this is all just speculation at this point. It remains to be seen if Fox will actually sell its entertainment assets to Comcast, and what that would mean for WWE. However, the idea ofFox using WWE to revive the XFL is an intriguing one that could have big repercussions for both companies.
In short, yes. The Murdoch-owned FOX Corporation did, in fact, purchase WWE in a $1 billion deal that was announced on Thursday, March 7th, 2019. This deal gives FOX ownership of both WWE’s live programming and its vast library of video content.