Endeavor entered into a transaction agreement to acquire WWE back on April 3, 2023. The deal involved the merging of WWE and UFC to form a new company, with Vince McMahon as the Executive Chair of the Board.
In a recent interview with CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel shed light on the acquisition of WWE and the future of the company. Addressing concerns that the sale of IMG Academy had impacted Endeavor’s assets, Emanuel emphasized that the company still has plenty of valuable assets.
“People realize, ‘Wait a second, there’s really great assets inside remaining assets at Endeavor, which I think there are, of course, as the CEO. Yes, there’s unbelievable value in the pure play of sports and sports and entertainment, eventually with UFC and WWE, TKO.”
Emanuel highlighted the “unbelievable” assets that Endeavor possesses, including events, betting, and other content. He also stated that dealing with both Dana White and Vince McMahon would not be an issue, as he had worked with both men in the past.
“I’ve represented UFC before we bought it, for over 20 years. The same thing’s true with Vince. We have a good relationship,” he said.
Emanuel further confirmed that Endeavor would handle WWE with the same approach they used with UFC, focusing on saving costs, driving revenue through sponsorships and international sales, and 2.0-ing WWE.
Regarding negotiations for media rights, Emanuel said that they were currently focused on saving costs and getting sponsorships. He also noted that the timeline for renewals differed for WWE and UFC.
“Their rights are open now, we’re in a year and a half from now. I think they’re on separate time frames.”
When asked about the timeframe for the WWE deal, Emanuel stated that they were waiting on the Department of Justice and had not intentionally pushed it back.
“We’re waiting on DOJ. We’re not pushing it back. We’re just waiting,” he said.
Endeavor’s Mark Shapiro has previously stated that the company will use the UFC playbook with WWE, indicating that fans could expect significant changes to the way the company operates.
With the acquisition of WWE, Endeavor is poised to become a dominant force in the world of sports and entertainment. The deal is yet to be approved by the Department of Justice, but with Ari Emanuel at the helm, fans can expect a new era for WWE.