MR. TITO: Vince McMahon is OUT OF HIS MIND for Wanting $9 Billion to Sell WWE

Since it’s getting harder and harder to write provocative columns lately without offending anyone, we’ll just stick business articles. Thanks, Internet Wrestling Community. Recently, a story came out suggesting that Vince McMahon, the “forced” and formerly resigned retired Board Chairman, was seeking $9 Billion to purchase the WWE. Wow…

That got me thinking… $9 Billion? For a Pro Wrestling company that has LOWER television contracts than the NFL, NBA, and MLB leagues? Recently, the marquee franchise Denver Broncos sold to the Walton family for $4.65 billion. You are meaning to tell me that WWE is worth more than a NFL franchise that generates higher ticket revenues than WWE, better merchandise sales, and better TV revenues?

I’m calling BS on this…

Let’s look at the facts, as they are on paper right now.

(a) The Market Cap for the WWE is about $6.5 Billion, which is the total value of all of the WWE’s outstanding shares of ownership.

(b) WWE television + WWE Network nets in about $600 million per year in North America alone, which is dependent upon a Cable/Network TV company willing to pay for said rights in North America. WWE makes just over $200 million from TV Deals and their Network running elsewhere. Just over $800 million combined, per year.

(c) Live Events are netting in just over $100 million, although almost 2/3 of that is likely from 1 country (Saudi Arabia). Numbers are still lower than Pre-COVID, however, and WWE is touring much less.

(d) As more live events happened through 2022, merchandise grew again to earn around $134 million per year.

(e) WWE earns about $1.3 billion in total revenue, with 2/3 of it being reliant on TV and WWE Network revenue.

(f) But here is the kicker… WWE’s total expenses through 2022 relating to Content, Live Events, and Merchandise was $730 million. Then, add $79 million for marketing costs. WWE’s general and administrative costs were $161 million. $69 million for taxes…

WWE made $195.6 million in Net Income for 2023, which you’d say “is profitable” but they made $1.3 million in total revenues.

WWE is HIGH EXPENSE driven company, as they have to pay for events, television production, lots of man power, liability for injuries, keeping up with the copyright offices, domain names, high arena leases, etc.

Oh, and Vince McMahon settlements… Those are expensive, too.

The big part is the 2/3 of WWE revenues, if not more, being dependent on TV rights and WWE Network. How long will that last? And what guarantees of an equal or bigger deal happening once 2024 rolls around? And do you want Vince McMahon around or not? And how much is he willing to sell his own shares of stock? If you don’t buy him out, he’ll be a menace to your company.

Here is what I keep running into, however… What if Roman Reigns just suddenly retires or goes off to Hollywood? I hate to use the “injured” analogy, but if he’s gone, the WWE’s battleship will sink. He’s the #1 draw in the company as a heel and there is ZERO comparison to him. Sorry, but when Cody Rhodes possibly wins the WWE Titles at Wrestlemania 39, WWE will be in a rude awakening when he has to deal with carrying the same tired roster. WWE is clinging onto Ohio Valley Wrestling and Florida Championship Wrestling talent with only a few successful NXT guys mixed in. The WWE talent developmental system has failed since the Shield came up during the early 2010s and guys like Kevin Owens and Finn Balor haven’t been successful long-term World Champions.

Let’s not act as though Sami Zayn is the top drawing wrestler right now. Ohhhhhh no he’s not. Without Roman Reigns, Sami isn’t getting those reactions. He has thrived in the Bloodline but that’s because he’s around the #1 star of the company. If he would have won those WWE Titles at Elimination Chamber, he’d find out immediately, too, that he has to now carry the rest of the tired WWE roster of older OVW and FCW names. Then, fans would turn on him and want to place the title back around Roman’s waist. That’s not to say that Sami cannot build upon this recent momentum, but he’s thriving because he’s around Roman and the Bloodline. He’s compelling because he’s wrestling Roman, period.

If I were buying the WWE, I’d inquire about how long Roman Reigns will stay with the company. Secondly, I would want to know what the hell is going on at NXT or the overpriced Florida Developmental Center. If you’ve watched NXT lately, that show isn’t much to brag about. There are no strong free agents out there, even if you picked off top stars from AEW or New Japan right now.

Sure, Saudi Arabia’s fund has probably trillions in it, but even they know that the WWE actually needs their annual event money and the TV rights fees. Without those, WWE is in deep trouble.

So basically, you’re buying a company that maybe makes $200 Million per year in Net Income and has $1.3 billion in assets.

On top of that, the older brands are getting older by the year… That 1980s WWE footage features Hulk Hogan while the 1980s NWA/WCW features Ric Flair. Great wrestlers back then, but their brands have diminished over the years. Younger people aren’t actually seeking out the wrestling matches of the past. Soon, we’ll run into a time when the fanbase who were deep into the Monday Night Wars/Attitude Era will start to burn out as well and again, the appeal to rewatch those by the younger audiences isn’t there. The 1998 peak of that era was 25 years ago, folks… Plus, wrestling isn’t generating interest of younger fans anyway, that’s a fact! Even AEW’s 18-49 demo is quite low, even though they brag about being top 5. Nobody young has Cable/Satellite!!!

I’d pay less than $3 billion, if it were up to me. Too expense driven, too much liability, too dependent on overpaid TV contracts, and the cost of hosting mass events has gone up exponentially. Furthermore, WWE doesn’t create stars like they use to and Roman may be the “last of us”. Once he’s gone, nobody is good enough to fill his shoes, especially from the NXT system since the Shield were called up. I’d especially be cautious buying if Vince McMahon insists to remain on the management staff or asks a higher buying price just to “buy him out”.

In my view, Vince McMahon gambled on himself and failed… Had he just stayed retired and quietly worked through Stephanie & Nick to put the company up for sale and then transition Stephanie/Nick/Triple H to remain as managers once it was sold, WWE could have obtained a great asking price, probably from Comcast/NBC/Universal. Now, however, these politically correct and #MeToo corporations are going to negotiate directly with Vince “NDA” McMahon? Are you kidding me?

If Vince McMahon fetches $9 Billion or more for the WWE in a sale, I guarantee you that you’ll never see or hear from Mr. Tito ever again. He’s OUT OF HIS MIND if he thinks that he can get close to that, unless Saudi Arabia decides to overpay.

There’s a difference in WANTING and RECEIVING… Like, I want to win the Powerball lottery but I’m likely to receive nothing or getting lucky on 1 number to earn $4. Vince can want $9 billion all he wants, but reality will soon kick him in the arse and he’ll receive much less than that.

So just chill… till the next episode!

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