WWE and the company that runs Ultimate Fighting Championship will combine to create a $21.4 billion sports entertainment company.
A new publicly traded company announced Monday will be formed that houses the UFC and WWE brands, with Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. taking a 51% controlling interest in the new company. Existing WWE shareholders will hold a 49% stake. The new business will be lead by Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel.
Vince McMahon, executive chairman at WWE, will serve in the same role at the new company.
Media industry analysts viewed WWE as an attractive target given its global reach and loyal fanbase, which includes everyone from minors to seniors and a wide range of incomes. The company held its marquee event, WrestleMania, over the weekend. Last year, WWE booked revenue of $1.3 billion.
The company is also a social media powerhouse. It surpassed 16 billion social video views in the final quarter of last year. It has nearly 94 million YouTube subscribers and has more than 20 million followers on TikTok. Its female wrestlers comprise five out of the top 15 most followed female athletes in the world, across Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, led by Ronda Rousey with 36.1 million followers.
WWE had more than 7.5 billion digital and social media views in January and February of this year, up 15% from the same time frame a year ago.
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