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Showing posts with label Endeavor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Endeavor. Show all posts

February 15, 2024

UFC, WWE partner on 5-year deal to bring events to Anaheim

The UFC and WWE merged last year into one company, the publicly traded TKO Group owned by Hollywood talent agency Endeavor. And now, some of the effects of that merger are coming to light. 

The UFC and WWE have signed a joint live event partnership with sports and entertainment district OC Vibe that will bring multiple events from both promotions to Honda Center in Anaheim, California, over the next five years, officials told ESPN on Thursday. An official announcement is expected later Thursday. 

Beginning this year, the UFC and WWE will hold at least three events each at the arena through 2028, including the possibility of UFC pay-per-view and Fight Night cards and WWE Raw or SmackDown television programs.

The deal does not specifically call for the UFC and WWE to hold events on back-to-back days or in the same week, though it's a possibility. The deal is the first of its kind since TKO Group formed officially last September -- and it could be indicative of how the new company will package the UFC and WWE together to jurisdictions and tourism authorities in the future. Both promotions have been actively looking for partners for these types of arrangements across the world, where local governments or private companies will pay to bring either one -- or both -- to their respective regions.

source:  espn.com

January 27, 2024

End Of An Era 2.0

For the first time since its inception as the Capitol Wrestling Corporation in the 1950's, the only member of the McMahon family currently with the WWE is a Levesque. End of an era.

December 8, 2023

TNA Wrestling has partnered with Endeavor Streaming to deliver its global, on-demand streaming service, TNA+

TNA Wrestling (formerly IMPACT Wrestling)—a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment and a division of Anthem Sports Group—has partnered with Endeavor Streaming to deliver its global, on-demand streaming service, TNA+, to its passionate fans, launching Friday, January 5.

 As part of a multi-year deal, Endeavor Streaming will power the new TNA+ app to deliver an enhanced user experience to all fans across the top streaming platforms, as well as mobile and connected devices. 

This partnership combines TNA’s expertise as a top professional wrestling promoter with Endeavor Streaming’s unparalleled knowledge in delivering innovative direct-to-consumer offerings, marketing tools, analytics, and predictive modeling. TNA+ will leverage Endeavor’s experience working with the world’s biggest sports organizations to scale TNA+’s business operations and further grow its fan base and digital revenues.

In addition to reclaiming the iconic TNA moniker, the TNA+ app is relaunching with an all-new dynamic look, as well as expanded options and increased functionality. The app puts the power back in the fans’ hands, delivering the ultimate premium experience where they can stream the company’s flagship weekly TV show and tune into exciting pay-per-view events, view TNA’s full archive, get exclusive original content and wrestler-created series, and even have the chance to interact with some of TNA’s top stars.TNA+ will be available at TNAWrestling.com, via iOS, tvOS and Android mobile apps, as well as big screen devices such as Android TV, Fire TV and Roku, with more platforms to follow. Subscribers will have the choice of a “Special Attraction” membership tier that features access to the full TNA/IMPACT Wrestling library and all TNA+ special PPV programming other than the 4-tent pole annual events offered at a price of $9.99 monthly or $95.99 per year, and a “World Championship” membership tier that includes all the perks of the Special Attraction tier, plus the 4-tent pole PPV events, offered at a price of $219.99 per year. Further details and subscription information for the new service can be found at TNAwrestling.com.

“This is truly an incredible opportunity for us as we forge into an exciting new chapter of the TNA legacy,” said TNA Wrestling President Scott D’Amore. “We are proud to partner with Endeavor Streaming on this initiative, and we look forward to continuing to provide our fans with the absolute best in new, classic and exclusive professional wrestling content, available to them anywhere, anytime, on their favorite devices, when TNA+ launches on January 5.” Pete Bellamy, Chief Commercial Officer at Endeavor Streaming said, “Wrestling fans are some of the most passionate in the world of sports and entertainment and TNA+ is the perfect ‘always-on’ personalized OTT service to help TNA build a deeper relationship with its global audience. We’re looking forward to working with TNA to deliver the best streaming experience for wrestling fans.”

Further details and subscription information for the new service can be found at TNAwrestling.com.

November 10, 2023

Paul Levesque On WWE’s Merger With Endeavor: ‘I Can’t Tell You How Excited I Am’

Front row at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater last night for the Callum Walsh-Ismael Villarreal boxing match were UFC CEO Dana White, WWE President Nick Khan, and WWE Head of Creative Paul “Triple H” Levesque.

The fight aired on UFC Fight Pass, which is investing more resources into its boxing and building around potential cornerstones like Walsh. A highly touted super welterweight prospect, Walsh (9-0) won a closely contested bout by unanimous decision, earning Levesque’s respect with his performance.
“It’s the first time I had the chance to see him fight live,” said Levesque, who spoke with Sports Illustrated while ringside. “He’s so well-rounded. I think this kid has it on all levels.”
Levesque marveled at the ten-round performance of the 22-year-old Walsh, who extended his undefeated streak with the victory.
“No matter what the genre, when you reach the next level, there are nerves and second-guessing that come at this level–and maybe a part of you that doesn’t believe in your hype,” said Levesque. “When you get to a certain level, a lot of it is a head game. To see how poised he is at this level, it’s awesome to see.”
Levesque is in the midst of a superb run of storytelling in WWE, especially since the company’s merger with Endeavor, which is also the parent company of the UFC. An old-school booker willing to embrace wrestling’s modern aspects, Levesque is molding Raw and SmackDown back into must-see products. Raw has been especially strong, with seemingly minute details–like advertised matches taking place–allowing multiple talents to have significant storylines.
Endeavor CEO has tasked Levesque to oversee all of WWE’s creative, a role he relishes.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am,” said Levesque. “Working with Endeavor, it’s next level. The flywheel for all the things they touch–if you were trying to build that on your own, it’s taking you a decade. For us, now, it fast tracks everything we’re doing.
“Endeavor, UFC, they’re the best in the business at what they do. They put things on a different level of professionalism, and we fit right into that. The future is so bright because of the opportunities Endeavor is going to provide for us and the synergies that are there. We’re going to take this to a whole new level.”

source:  si.com

October 13, 2023

Triple H and Vince McMahon Have More Defined Roles in WWE

Per Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel, Paul “Triple H” Levesque is in full control of WWE creative.

When WWE merged with Endeavor last month, Paul “Triple H” Levesque did not receive a seat on the Board of Directors, a position he had held prior in WWE.

Yet that has not represented a loss of power.

In fact, the opposite has occurred.

If you have noticed a change in WWE programming, you are not alone. Levesque, who is WWE’s Head of Creative, has overseen all of the creative on SmackDown and Raw since the merger, which is precisely what his job description entails.

The difference is that Vince McMahon, who is synonymous with all things WWE, is no longer directly involved in dictating the weekly creative in the same manner he once did. McMahon remained the title of Executive Chairman in WWE, but he no longer possesses majority control of the company. That has allowed for change in the new regime, particularly in the creative department.

Multiple contacts within the WWE and UFC have confirmed that Ari Emanuel, who wields power as the Endeavor CEO, is behind the change. Emanuel has long been a firm believer that, in order for an organization to be as effective as possible, people need to do the job they are assigned. In this case, that approach has empowered Levesque to exert his full influence in the company’s creative sphere.

Not all is lost for McMahon. As Executive Chairman, his focus is elsewhere, particularly in overseeing a lucrative new media rights deal for Raw and the NXT brand. But it is a fascinating time for McMahon.

No longer the be-all, end-all of WWE, McMahon possesses an iron-clad contract that protects him financially–yet not politically. Will he view this as a loss of leverage? His response will be a very telling action.

source:  si.com

September 20, 2023

Details Behind Vince McMahon's WWE Ouster And Return

Last year, allegations of sexual misconduct and hush money payments forced Vince McMahon to step down from his role as WWE CEO. Though he retired for a time, it would be short-lived. McMahon was able to reinstate himself to the board earlier this year, though he remains under investigation by federal officials. A new story by the LA Times, in which the publication spoke to an "individual close to the board," features new insight into the company's internal investigation into McMahon and more.

According to the LA Times report, McMahon initially told the board he wouldn't stand in the way of their investigation into his actions. Additionally, McMahon reportedly agreed to step down from the board voluntarily, with some reluctance, while also claiming that each of the described encounters had been consensual and the payoffs had only been a matter of "protecting the company against potential litigation."

However, by December, McMahon had seemingly changed his mind about stepping to the side. McMahon sent a pair of letters to the company's board, informing them of his intent to return to shepherd a sale. Though the company's board, which at the time featured Stephanie McMahon and her husband Paul "Triple H" Levesque, voted unanimously against McMahon's return, the 78-year-old was able to use his voting power as a majority stockholder to replace two members and get himself back on the board.

The report indicates that McMahon viewed the internal investigation as being disloyal, and two more board members resigned in the aftermath of McMahon's return. Since then, McMahon was true to his word on setting the company up for a sale, with WWE and UFC merging into TKO Group Holdings, made official earlier this month. Under the new corporate infrastructure, McMahon remains in power, serving as the Executive Chairman.

September 12, 2023

Endeavor Announces Close of UFC® And WWE® Transaction To Create TKO Group Holdings, A Premium Sports And Entertainment Company

Endeavor Announces Close of UFC® and WWE® Transaction to Create TKO Group Holdings, a Premium Sports and Entertainment Company

New Company to Begin Trading Today, September 12, on the New York Stock Exchange Under “TKO” Ticker Symbol

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. & STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EDR) (“Endeavor”) and World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (previously NYSE: WWE) (“WWE”) today announced the close of their previously announced agreement and the launch of TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO) (“TKO”).

TKO brings together UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, and WWE, an integrated media organization and the recognized global leader in sports entertainment, to create a new premium sports and entertainment company serving more than one billion young and diverse fans1, reaching viewers in 180 countries, and producing more than 350 annual live events. Through this combination, TKO will leverage Endeavor’s expertise in areas including domestic and international media rights, ticket sales and yield optimization, event operations, global partnerships, licensing, and premium hospitality to drive revenue growth.

“The creation of TKO marks an exciting new chapter for UFC and WWE as leaders in global sports and entertainment,” said Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor and TKO. “Given their continued connectivity to the Endeavor network, we are confident in our ability to accelerate their respective growth and unlock long-term sustainable value for shareholders. With UFC and WWE under one roof, we will provide unrivaled experiences for more than a billion passionate fans worldwide.”

“This is the culmination of a decades-long partnership between Endeavor and WWE across strategic initiatives including talent representation and media rights. Given our collaborative, trusted relationship and Endeavor’s incredible track record of success growing UFC, we believe WWE is optimally positioned for future growth and success as part of TKO,” said Vince McMahon, Executive Chairman of TKO. “Our focus remains on delivering for our fans across the globe as we take the business to the next level alongside UFC and Endeavor.”

TKO will begin trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “TKO,” with Endeavor holding a 51% controlling interest in the new company and existing WWE shareholders holding a 49% interest in the new company, on a fully diluted basis.

As previously announced, TKO is led by:

Ariel Emanuel, Chief Executive Officer, who continues as Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor;

Mark Shapiro, President and Chief Operating Officer, who continues as President and Chief Operating Officer of Endeavor;

Andrew Schleimer, Chief Financial Officer; and

Seth Krauss, Chief Legal Officer, who continues as Chief Legal Officer of Endeavor.

Dana White is now Chief Executive Officer of UFC and Lawrence Epstein remains Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of UFC. Nick Khan continues at WWE in the role of President.

The Board of Directors of TKO is led by Vince McMahon as Executive Chairman of the Board and consists of 11 members, including Mr. Emanuel, Mr. Shapiro, and Mr. Khan, in addition to the following directors:

Peter C.B. Bynoe, Senior Advisor at DLA Piper LLP;

Egon P. Durban, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Silver Lake;

Steven R. Koonin, Chief Executive Officer of the Atlanta Hawks, LLC;

Jonathan A. Kraft, President of the Kraft Group LLC;

Sonya E. Medina, President and Chief Executive Officer of Reach Resilience;

Nancy R. Tellem, Executive Chairperson and Chief Media Officer of Eko; and

Carrie Wheeler, Chief Executive Officer and a board member of Opendoor Technologies Inc.

September 11, 2023

End Of An Era

Tonight's WWE Raw will be the last WWE show under the full majority control of Vince McMahon. End of an era.

August 11, 2023

Details On Endeavor Deal, WWE-UFC Merger And Plans For NXT

Following the news from earlier this week that the WWE-UFC merger under Endeavor is expected to close next month, Dave Meltzer's latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter offers up some additional details. The report states that layoffs and other efforts to save money are expected to begin within the company very soon. Additionally, Meltzer indicates that people within Endeavor are hoping to work with WWE to make NXT more of a "sustainable third brand."

The idea behind that is to increase the show's ratings, allowing it to bring in higher TV rights fees. According to Meltzer, the company hopes to make NXT a touring brand once again, with both live events and TV taped on the road. However, there is no timeline for when this will become a reality.

As for the previously discussed revival of "NXT U.K.," there is reportedly an idea for a full-time Performance Center in London, as well as the introduction of a new show focused on all of Europe. However, there will be no updates on that until at least next year.

WWE's stock price hit another record-high earlier this week, reaching $114 per share, giving the company a market valuation of nearly $8.5 billion. When the dust settles, the board of TKO will include six individuals from Endeavor and five from WWE. On the WWE side, that includes both Vince McMahon and current WWE CEO Nick Khan, as well as Steve Koonin, Nancy Teliem, and one more individual who has yet to be revealed.

In addition to remaining on the Board of Directors, Vince McMahon will own 16.4% of the stock for the new company, which will be called TKO. Stephanie McMahon will own 1.1% while Linda McMahon will have 0.3% of the company's stock. There was no word on how many shares Shane McMahon will own.

April 4, 2023

Vince McMahon tells WWE staff that Paul Levesque will remain in charge of creative process

Vince McMahon has sent an internal email to WWE employees stating that Paul Levesque will retain his position as head of creative.

On the heels of the Endeavor/WWE deal, sources have told POST Wrestling’s John Pollock that the email contains the line: “Paul Levesque will remain WWE’s chief content executive.”

Earlier, during an interview on CNBC, McMahon was asked by Scott Wapner whether he planned to be “as involved in the creative side as he has in the past.”

McMahon replied:

Yes and no. On a higher level, yes. In the weeds — which I always loved to get into the weeds in the past — no; can’t do that.

Back in 2019, after McMahon appointed Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff as Executive Directors of Raw and SmackDown respectively, McMahon used similar language, saying that those two hires freed him up:

“to look at longer range story arcs and work on character development, versus being in the weeds”

An all-employee Zoom meeting for WWE staff has been arranged for 4.00 pm ET.

April 3, 2023

Triple H and Nick Khan To Receive Huge Bonus Following WWE Sale

WWE's Nick Khan and Triple H will receive a huge bonus following the news that WWE has been sold to Endeavour.

On Monday, WWE announced a transaction agreement with Endeavor that would see WWE sell to Endeavor and merge with UFC to form a new publicly traded company worth $21.5 billion. Khan will be President of WWE when the two promotions merge, while Triple H is expected to remain Chief Content Executive of WWE.

Triple H and Nick Khan will both receive large bonuses with Triple H taking in $5 million and Khan receiving $15 million.

From the SEC filing:

"In light of their significant contributions to the Company prior to and in connection with the Transactions and to promote retention, the Company, following the approval of the WWE Compensation Committee, entered into bonus letter agreements (each a “Bonus Agreement”), dated as of April 1, 2023 and effective as of April 2, 2023, with certain executive officers including Nick Khan, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Frank A. Riddick III, the Company’s President & Chief Financial Officer, and Paul Levesque, the Company’s Chief Content Officer. The Bonus Agreements each provide for a cash payment (the “Bonus”) in the event a Sale Transaction (as defined in the Bonus Agreements) is consummated on or before February 28, 2024 (unless such date is extended by the Company’s Board of Directors, in its discretion) (a “Qualifying Sale Transaction”).

For Messrs. Khan and Levesque, the amount of their Bonuses is equal to $15,000,000 and $5,000,000, respectively, with 100% of such amount payable as soon as practicable following the closing date of a Qualifying Sale Transaction, subject to their continuous employment through the closing date (except as otherwise noted below). For Mr. Riddick, the amount of his Bonus is equal to $5,000,000, with 60% of such amount payable as soon as practicable following the closing date of a Qualifying Sale Transaction and 40% of such amount payable as soon as practicable following the six-month anniversary of the closing date of a Qualifying Sale Transaction, subject to his continuous employment through each such date (except as otherwise noted below). In the event any of Messrs. Khan, Riddick and Levesque is terminated by the Company without Cause or resigns for Good Reason (each as defined in the applicable Bonus Agreement) prior to the payment date(s) described above, the unpaid portion of his respective Bonus shall vest and become payable as of the date of termination.

The foregoing description of the Bonus Agreements does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the Bonus Agreements for Messrs. Khan, Riddick and Levesque, copies of which will be filed as exhibits to the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2023 and which will be incorporated by reference herein."


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. & STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EDR) (“Endeavor”) and World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) (“WWE”) today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to form a new, publicly listed company consisting of two iconic, complementary, global sports and entertainment brands: UFC and WWE. Upon close, Endeavor will hold a 51% controlling interest in the new company and existing WWE shareholders will hold a 49% interest in the new company.

Together, UFC and WWE will have global reach, impressive scale and omnichannel distribution. On a combined 2022 fiscal year-end basis, UFC and WWE achieved revenue of $2.4 billion and a 10% annual revenue growth rate since 2019.

“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed,” said Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor. “For decades, Vince and his team have demonstrated an incredible track record of innovation and shareholder value creation, and we are confident that Endeavor can deliver significant additional value for shareholders by bringing UFC and WWE together.”

“Given the incredible work that Ari and Endeavor have done to grow the UFC brand – nearly doubling its revenue over the past seven years – and the immense success we’ve already had in partnering with their team on a number of ventures, I believe that this is without a doubt the best outcome for our shareholders and other stakeholders,” said Vincent K. McMahon, Executive Chairman of WWE.

McMahon continued, “Together, we will be a $21+ billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a collective fanbase of more than a billion people and an exciting growth opportunity. The new company will be well positioned to maximize the value of our combined media rights, enhance sponsorship monetization, develop new forms of content and pursue other strategic mergers and acquisitions to further bolster our strong stable of brands. I, along with the current WWE management team, look forward to working closely with Ari and the Endeavor and UFC teams to take the businesses to the next level.”

The new company will be led by Emanuel (Chief Executive Officer), who will also continue in his role as Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor, McMahon (Executive Chairman of the Board) and Mark Shapiro, who will be President and Chief Operating Officer of both Endeavor and the new company. Dana White will continue in his role as President of UFC and Nick Khan will serve as President of WWE. The Board of Directors will consist of 11 members who will be appointed at a later date, six of whom will be appointed by Endeavor and five of whom by WWE.

April 2, 2023

WWE reportedly close to sale to Endeavor

World Wrestling Entertainment is reportedly closing in on a deal to be sold to talent-agency company Endeavor Group Holdings (NYSE:EDR), already the parent of mixed martial arts league Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The sale is in advanced talks, CNBC reported, and it could be announced as soon as Monday.

It would result in a new publicly traded company focused on combat sports and entertainment, according to the report, and Endeavor would own 51% while WWE holders would own 49%.

The proposed transaction would reportedly assign WWE an enterprise value of $9.3B. WWE has a market capitalization of about $6.8B.

It would also mean the end of Vince McMahon's control of WWE after several decades.

Recent weeks have brought increasing sale speculation and WWE CEO Nick Khan said last week the company had seen "robust" interest.

source: seeking alpha

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