Last year, Vince McMahon, the Chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), retired from the company after an investigation found that he had paid nearly $15 million to four women over 16 years to quell claims of alleged sexual misconduct and infidelity.
And earlier this week, Vince McMahon returned to the WWE, as the Chairman, since he still has over 80% of the company shares. Where he wants to personally facilitate potential sale talks of the company ahead of the company’s media rights renewal in 2024. According to CNBC, JP Morgan is apparently assisting the WWE in the sale, which is expected to take place later this year, and there were even reports earlier this week that the WWE had already been sold to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, but this was never confirmed.
There are many companies expected to be interested in purchasing the WWE, and according to Dave Melzer from the Wrestling Observer Radio, WWE CEO Nick Khan was in Los Angeles on Monday for the NCAA college football title game and was meeting Disney CEO Bob Iger and ESPN head Jimmy Pitaro. Fueling more speculation that Disney could potentially add the WWE to its ever-growing catalogue of franchises.
Disney and the WWE are already business partners, as there is currently a short-term deal to keep many of the WWE flagship shows like “RAW” and “NXT” available on Hulu in the United States until 2024. Plus, Disney and WWE are working together on a new reality series featuring superstars, Bianca Belair and Montez Ford.
In addition to the US deal with Hulu, Disney has made other contracts with the WWE for content, such as bringing the WWE Network to Disney+ Hotstar in Indonesia and on Disney+ in the Philippines, which includes all the major weekly shows and premium live events like the upcoming “Royal Rumble”.
But Disney isn’t the only company investigating purchasing the WWE, as Endeavor, who are the owners of UFC, are “also in the hunt”. It’s rare that an opportunity like the WWE goes up for sale, especially as Disney is in constant need of original content and purchasing the WWE would provide them regular live sports entertainment, that they actually own, which is something they don’t get with other sports.
One of the WWE’s mottos is that “you never know what’s going to happen in the WWE” and things are moving very quickly, but knowing that the CEO’s of both Disney and the WWE have already met, is interesting, especially as Bob Iger is very well known for making major purchases like 20th Century Studios, Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm.
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Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.