Fox Interested in WWE
#1
So, this is potentially big but likely nothing. TL;DR. Fox doesn't want to give UFC an increase in TV rights deal, and are interested in WWE as a backup to fill timeslots on Fox, FS1 and FS2. They are also interested in buying them outright to have permanent control.

Quote:It is well known that Paul Levesque had a preliminary meeting, although it was only that, several months ago with the heads of FOX Sports. The gist of the speculation is that if FOX doesn’t sign UFC, and they move to another network, that they would go after WWE because they would have so much air time to fill on FS 1 and FS 2, which relies greatly on UFC product.

There’s also talk that they may buy WWE, so they have them for good and don’t have to worry in the future about escalating television rights and losing them, similar to what Viacom did with Bellator and what a couple of networks (including FOX) were interested in doing with UFC before the bidding broke $3.5 billion and they dropped out.

Evidently Viacom has also expressed interest in pro wrestling, but as an owner, like with Bellator, for the same long-term reasons, and that talk isn’t centered around WWE. That talk is clearly as preliminary as it could be, given nothing has broken on it. To me at this point it’s the same as the 2004 story where Ted Turner, Bill Shaw and Jim Barnett had a meeting about starting a pro wrestling company when Turner’s non-compete against WWE ended. So many things had changed and Barnett told them that he estimated there would be $50 million in start-up costs and losses to try and get something off the ground from scratch, which was very different from the $9 million it cost in 1988 to buy a failing Jim Crockett Promotions, and Turner moved on.

Still, one person close to the situation believes McMahon isn’t interested in selling his majority interest just yet, feeling that the stock will soar because they will get a big increase in television rights. If the shares hit $40, he could continue to do what he’s doing, and sell small pieces of it off while maintaining full voting control. If there’s a UFC level offer, I can’t imagine WWE not selling at that price.

Some of the talk going around is that if this happens, and it’s all a big if, Raw would move to FOX, with the idea that in moving it to the big network, it would not only give it the level of exposure to make it hugely popular once again, but it would give the WWE network legitimacy. A strong positive in all this is that if Raw was to move to FOX, it would have to be cut back to two hours, from 8-10 p.m., because so many FOX stations have a 10 p.m. newscast.

Smackdown would then be put on FS 1, as a way to boost its ratings and I wouldn’t be surprised for them to try and get more content to fill time on FS 1 and FS 2 since UFC fills so many hours.

But if FOX signs UFC, which is still a strong possibility, all of that would become less likely. It’s not impossible to have both on the network, as they are different products, and there is benefit as Spike found in using the big pro wrestling television audience as a lead-in, because even if wrestling doesn’t deliver good ad rates, if you keep those extra viewers for UFC, that has much stronger ad rates per viewer so the value of the viewer is increased greatly. But on the surface that’s difficult because UFC is an established Saturday night entity and you wouldn’t want to change that often, and WWE is Monday and Tuesday.

It should be noted that this strategy dates back to talks almost one full year ago and things could be very different now past it’s known FOX is interested in WWE if they lose UFC. With FOX selling so many of its stations. They are cash rich right now.

FOX is strategizing now around live programming, news and sports. Still, even with all their cash on hand, their UFC offer is not a big increase from what they already pay. The just over $200 million per year deal that they offered UFC would not be that big an increase over what WWE is currently being paid by USA and would be far less than the stock market expects WWE to get for its new rights deal. There was one analyst predicting that the number of bidders could get WWE’s price to $400 million, although a lot of the expectations for WWE stem from what people think UFC will get. The two companies have been in the same ballpark when it comes to U.S. TV money for the last several years, with WWE slightly ahead more because it signed its last deal a few years later when numbers were higher. But while UFC has talked of $400 million and even $450 million, those close to the situation have told us they don’t really believe the deal will go that high.

“It’s getting more interesting by the minute,” Dana White said to ESPN. “ESPN buys Fox Sports’ (the regional networks, not FS 1 and FS 2) which the UFC is perfect for. And you look at FOX, they have a load of cash from the (recent sale of properties to Disney). You’ve got powerhouses like Amazon, Netflix and YouTube.”

As far as strengthening WWE business if it stays public and in the hands of the McMahons, it’s all about rights fees because things like live shows, licensing and merchandise are steady but they aren’t likely to increase much. Live shows would actually have declined without the price increases and there may be a limit to how much they could do of that, outside of the big shows where the demand remains high. Network growth has slowed greatly as well.

UFC wanted its deal pretty much done at this point, but there’s no sign that is the case. WWE wants its future home decided by May, even though the move, if there is one, wouldn’t be until October 2019

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#2
When WWE went public, you could get a share for $1. I told my mom I wanted 100 shares for my bday. I never got it. God damnit.
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#3
It's only a matter of time before some big corporation like Fox or Disney buys WWE.

I figured it'd be after Vince dies. But with him cashing out stock to start another football league, and with Triple H and Stephanie long-groomed to take it over, maybe he's ready to step aside. He's 72.
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#4
The fact that HHH is taking the meetings with Fox and not Vince speaks volumes. But the best thing about this move is that Raw would be back to 2 hours, lol
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[+] 1 user Likes Ceallach's post
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#5
I’d be happier if Disney bought it because maybe they would give it a proper Hall of Fame.
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#6
If Disney buys WWE then maybe the Avengers can call in John Cena to help out with this whole Thanos problem
[+] 5 users Like sanderz1's post
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#7
I would totally dig a wrestling theme park.

That said, nothing will happen. This is just a power move to keep their rates high for NBC Universal and for Fox to keep them low for UFC.
[Image: 150723-EJ-aerial-madison-square-garden-1519-Edit.jpg]
2018
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#8
Yeah just let Disney buy the rights to everything. What could go wrong?
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#9
Worst case scenario? You post in the wrestling forum.
[Image: 150723-EJ-aerial-madison-square-garden-1519-Edit.jpg]
2018
[+] 3 users Like Chris's post
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#10
We all know fox ruins shit. Id rather have Disney buy it.
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#11
So this is getting serious.

Quote:On FS 1's Speak for Yourself show, Jason Whitlock and Colin Cowherd talked about Cowherd going with FOX Sports execs to the Smackdown tapings Tuesday night at the Staples Center. Cowherd talked about meeting Stephanie McMahon and said that he had a blast at the show. He'd spent years burying wrestling and its fans. Cowherd now said it was a very good sport "coming to a network near you" which was meant as a tease as FOX is looking to get WWE's TV rights in 2019.


Also, http://www.sportingnews.com/wwe/news/fox...lfp1m7xr2w
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#12




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[+] 1 user Likes Peezy's post
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#13
Realistically: Two hours on FOX, with an hour pre show on the Network, and a post show on the network also.
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#14
I'm on board. It would also likely get an updated look: new LED's, new graphics, new music, the return of pyro, etc.

One thing that has been talked about at s negative is Smackdown being bumped around. If something more important is going on, it might move to FS2 or whatever. I guess we shall see.
[Image: 150723-EJ-aerial-madison-square-garden-1519-Edit.jpg]
2018
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#15
Yeah in the Observer it said SD would be on FS1.

But yeah this is starting to look legit.
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#16
The conspiracy theorist in me wants to believe this is a way for Fox to lower UFC's demands and for WWE to raise their demands (while negotiating with NBC). I'm still really skeptical this will ever go down but stranger things have happened. WWE has worked hard to become a corporate friendly product (to the detriment of their own popularity).

God I hope we have another steroid scandal and this blows up in Vince's face.
[Image: 150723-EJ-aerial-madison-square-garden-1519-Edit.jpg]
2018
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#17
This week's Observer notes that the Fox story has changed slightly, they were planning on WWE as a backup if they lost UFC but now they are willing to pass on UFC to get WWE or possibly get both since they are cash rich atm. Also of note is that they would drop the ad time per hour to 2 minutes per hour and would also look at airing NXT as well as Raw and SD.

An unrelated note, but Kevin Dunn's pay was reduced almost in half, from over $4 million to 2.3. Still a lot, but man fuck Kevin Dunn. Terrible producer who has that fucking job for life because of his dad.
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