Wednesday December 6, 2023

TKO Makes First Big Move After WWE-UFC Merger

  • Investors drop TKO shares by 15% following SmackDown rights deal
  • One-time dividend also influences market activity
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

The newly formed TKO Group Holdings confirmed initial projections by making its first big move following the landmark, $21.4 billion UFC-WWE merger. But Wall Street immediately made it clear that it’s still not happy.

Just nine days after WWE president Nick Khan said the company was “pretty deep” in its rights negotiation process for Raw and SmackDown and predicted a sizable rights increase, NBC completed a new five-year, $1.4 billion pact for the U.S. rights to SmackDown. 

The deal, which is focused on broadcasting the shows on its USA Network, is roughly 40% higher on an annual basis than Fox’s existing deal for those rights. The agreement even includes plans to produce four primetime specials annually that will air on NBC beginning in the 2024-25 season, giving WWE a major broadcast network showcase.

The network particularly lauded WWE, “which has helped cement USA Network’s consistent position as the top-rated cable entertainment network in live viewership.”

But even that business success was no match for the lofty expectations of TKO investors wanting an even-bigger rights fee bump and Thursday’s overall down market. Company shares closed down 15% on the New York Stock Exchange at $85.97 per share.

Also influencing the TKO stock selloff is a separate, one-time cash dividend of $3.86 per share for TKO. Those who sold shares of TKO on Thursday will still get that dividend, but not after. 

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Baseball Extends Celebration of Negro Leagues With HOF Tribute Game

New event dovetails with planned MLB game at historic Rickwood Field.

NHL Plans To Stage 2024 Draft At $2.3B Vegas Sphere

League becomes first sports entity to stage an event entire at venue.

Two Years After Tokyo’s $13B Olympics: Criminal Charges

Trial begins in bid-rigging scandal further marring already troubled Games.

Diamond Baseball Holdings Flexes Further With WooSox Deal

MiLB team holding company extends acquisition push with Boston's top affiliate.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

NCAA Opens Door to Athlete Compensation


Featured Today

The College Football Playoff is considering rotating TV networks for the national championship game.

CFP Considers Super Bowl-Like Rotation For National Championship Game

Multiple networks could share rights to the championship game, sources told FOS.
Brett Favre
November 27, 2023

Favre Welfare Case Hold-Up? "AG’s Office Has Not Expressed Interest In Pursuing"

The DOJ interviewed Brett Favre in early 2020.
The future of the Pac-12 rests on a court decision.
November 24, 2023

The Pac-12 Plays Its Final Regular-Season Game. Then A Court Decides Its Fate.

The conference's future rests with a court decision.
Lane Kiffin
November 9, 2023

Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin Lawyers Argue for Dismissal of Player Lawsuit

FOS obtained audio of Lane Kiffin's interaction with the player behind lawsuit.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Saco Bay PT
Multiple - USA Careers
A view of a 1914 Baeb Ruth rookie card in a protective casing from the Sportscard Guaranty Company.

Babe Ruth Rookie Card Sets Player Record at $7.2M

It’s the most expensive piece of Babe Ruth memorabilia ever sold.
November 14, 2023

German Soccer Pushing $1.1B Rights Deal To Private Equity Investors

Governing body mounting third attempt for outside investment
PFL Bellator
November 20, 2023

PFL Completes Acquisition of Bellator, Readies to Challenge UFC

“Today, the MMA market changed,” PFL Founder Donn Davis said.

NHL’s Chris Foster on Amplifying Content Distribution With Automation

Learn how the NHL is using WSC Sports to increase fan engagement.
CAA logo on side on building
November 13, 2023

CAA Forms Sports-Focused Investment Bank In Continued Expansion Push

Powerhouse agency looks to further expand dealmaking capabilities
Mercedes-AMG Petronas driver George Russell drives on the track during the Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix Launch Party at Las Vegas Strip.
November 10, 2023

Ticket, Hotel Prices Plummet As Las Vegas GP Nears

Lack of competitive drama for F1 event fuels market crash
November 9, 2023

McMahon Selling $713M In TKO Stock, CEO Emanuel Could Be A Buyer

Bombshell announcement to bring big changes to company's ownership structure
San Diego Padres shortstop Xander Bogaerts wears the ALS Lou Gehrig Day and Motorola patches during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Petco Park.
November 8, 2023

Major U.S. Sports Leagues Pull In Record $6.7B in Ad Revenue

Major U.S. sports leagues and teams saw big increases in ad revenues.