Market Overview

WWE Confirms New TV Contracts With USA Network And Fox

WWE Confirms New TV Contracts With USA Network And Fox

Shares of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) gained more than 10 percent Wednesday morning after announcing new TV deals for its two flagship weekly events.

What Happened

WWE confirmed Tuesday afternoon it reached an agreement to extend its long-standing partnership with Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA)'s USA Network for five years to broadcast its weekly Monday night "Raw" program, the company said. The companies have worked together to bring wrestling events to WWE fans for nearly three decades, with the show being a consistent ratings winner on USA Network.

WWE will be moving Tuesday's weekly "SmackDown" program to Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA)'s broadcast network. Fox will broadcast the two-hour live event every week under a new five-year agreement that begins in October 2019.

Why It's Important

WWE was widely expected to re-negotiate TV rights with Fox named as a potential new home for WWE events in May. Wells Fargo analyst Eric Katz said reports of potential new TV deals are more bullish than expected and a new TV deal could be twice the size of prior ones.

Financial terms of the agreements weren't disclosed although WWE said it expects to see a "sizeable increase" in the average annual value of U.S. distribution. The company also said its revenue from key agreements will grow from an expected $235 million in 2018 to $462 million in 2021.

What's Next

WWE said it has multiple agreements that are subject to renewal throughout 2019 to 2021 and current financial projects do not assume any future change in annual revenue.

WWE shares traded around $73.20 at time of publication, up 9.8 percent in pre-market trading.

Related Links:

Analyst Turns Incrementally Bullish On WWE After Q1 Earnings

Network Subscribers Keep KeyBanc Bullish On WWE Following WrestleMania

Image credit: Megan Elice Meadows (IMG_5217) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted-In: Fox Sports Raw Smackdown Live tv USA NetworkNews Contracts Top Stories Best of Benzinga


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