World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will no longer be rivals in the world ring matches. According to new reports, the two companies will merge together to create a new fight league and a new entertainment corporation now called TKO Group.
Deadline reports, “Execs from both sides will be ringing the NYSE opening bell to celebrate ‘a new premium sports and entertainment company serving more than one billion young and diverse fans, reaching viewers in 180 countries, and producing more than 350 annual live events,’ according to UFC parent Endeavor, which is banking on new content, international expansion and an easy-to-understand investment thesis for Wall Street.”
The WWE was founded as the World Wide Wrestling Federation in April 1963 under the umbrella of Titan Sports, Inc., which would be acquired by Endeavor Group Holdings later on.
TKO Group President and CEO Mark Shapiro told The Hollywood Reporter, “We will be wringing out cost synergies, but at the same time identifying those areas that are under-monetized or where revenue synergy significantly exists.”
“And that’s happening across our domestic and international media rights, our sponsorship and global partnerships, our product licensing, enhancing our live events, through ticket yield, venue fees, and premium experiences and then just overall expanding internationally, all of these businesses and doing it with a halo of the Endeavor flywheel which cannot be underestimated the influence and impact that will bring,” Shapiro continued.
He added, “We believe TKO reflects an opportunity to own a quasi-sports league with robust year-round programming, and an attractive financial profile that offers sizable revenue/cost savings.”
The UFC was founded in 1993 by Dana White, who will retain his title of CEO while Nick Khan will become the president of the WWE following the merger.
Vince McMahon has stepped down from his role as CEO of the WWE following an internal investigation into allegations of misconduct.
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