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SBD/May 19, 2014/Finance
WWE Future Questioned After Lower-Than-Expected TV Deal Causes Stock Plunge
Published May 19, 2014
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INDUSTRY IS WATCHING: QUARTZ' John McDuling wrote WWE's decline is "dispiriting news for people who hope content providers will eschew their relationships with cable companies and sell content directly to consumers over the internet." Other content owners, "including sporting organizations and the likes of HBO, will no doubt be watching the WWE experiment closely." Markets "have a tendency to be short-sighted, and WWE’s system might still prove to be a smart move in the long term." But it "suggests that breaking out of the cable bundle is not a painless exercise." BTIG Managing Dir of Media & Technology analyst Rich Greenfield said, "It may dissuade existing … content providers from trying to go over the top, away from the cable bundles authentication model. WWE tried to double-dip" (QZ.com, 5/16). At presstime, shares of WWE were trading at $10.97 per share, down 2.66% from the close of business Friday (THE DAILY).
OFF THE TOP ROPE: FORBES' Dan Alexander reported McMahon lost $350M as of market close on Friday, as shares in WWE "took a beating from investors." That drop "immediately knocked the WWE boss out of the billionaire ranks, putting his net worth now" at an estimated $750M (FORBES.com, 5/16).