NBC and others are looking into buying World Wrestling Entertainment and some movement has already been made in that direction.
Ever since the Vince McMahon shake up of WWE operations in January 2020 and outing then long time WWE Executives George Barrios and Michelle Wilson with Nick Khan in August 2020, the ball has been in motion.
Barrios and Wilson were the main catalysts in getting Vince McMahon to launch the WWE Network promising huge profit margin gains and millions in subscribers, something that never came to be as the WWE Network barley broke two million subscribers and never reached the levels of Netflix 207.64 Million Subscribers and HBO Max 44.2 Million Subscribers.
Vince McMahon went in a new direction with Nick Khan who immediately did away with the WWE Network and sold the streaming rights to PEACOCK (a NBC streaming platform) in a $1 Billion dollar multi-year deal.
The National Broadcast Company NBC is owned by NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast. Founded in 1926 by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), NBC is the oldest major broadcast network in the United States.
The estimated net worth of NBC is $35 billion as of June 2021. They have earned it from the television and radio broadcast.
In May 2021 layoffs hit WWE Studios due to the Peacock acquisition. WWE Studios saw layoffs in features, TV and digital/social media division Advanced Media Group. All of these operations will be consolidated into a single division, with a smaller staff running those operations as NBC makes it easier for WWE to run their digital department with less staff.
In 2019 The USA Network which is owned by their parent company NBC made a 5-year deal with WWE to broadcast RAW worth $265 million per year. That deal ends in 2024 and in March 2021 USA also extended their deal for NXT which at the time WWE and USA/NBC stayed tight lipped on the figures and details of that contract but insider analysts figure WWE is getting around $50-60 million per year for NXT on USA. USA will keep the Black & Gold brand on USA for years to come.
With all the current deals going NBC’s way the only brand not under the NBC umbrella is Smackdown who is currently under a FOX five-year deal ending in 2024. Sources say NBC and others are waiting patiently to offer big money to buy WWE as a whole and feature RAW, SmacKDown, NXT and all pay-per-views and WWE Network programming exclusively on PEACOCK.
No figures have officially been brought up but WWE sources say the deal if NBC were to buy WWE would be in the range of $4 Billion to $7 Billion range. Vince McMahon who will turn 76 this August,24th is said to be looking at Nick Khan to set up WWE to be sold in the coming years and moves are already being put in place for a smooth sale.
WWE is clearing house and streamlining their roster of superstars and office staff with releases and layoffs to cut back on payroll spending and increase the profit margin to make WWE look attractive as possible to NBC when the time comes to sale. Many superstars who WWE would’ve never released are now being let go in a effort to cut back on spending and big contracts. More releases are in the works.
The McMahon family has had a legacy in professional wrestling unlike any other and with AEW becoming increasingly popular the time of WWE being the premier wrestling company is no more. Vince McMahon is looking to make one last big cash out before he retires. Stay tuned to SW for the latest updates.