The Wrestling Post – 02.17.14

February 17, 2014

Welcome to another edition of The Wrestling Post.  In this post we talk about the looming WWE TV rights fee deal and a new toy deal for the company.

Exclusive rights period ends between WWE-NBC Universal

Friday was the last day for the exclusive negotiating period between the WWE and NBC Universal to come up with a deal for the WWE’s television rights.  The WWE’s existing contract with NBCU ends this fall and the organization hopes to improve upon its current $139.5 million television licensing fees for its stable of WWE shows.

Although it identifies itself as a sports entertainment company, it hopes to score a television deal that mirrors some of the recent sports television rights fees contracts.  The most recent sports rights fee deal had CBS earning the right to 8 NFL Thursday night games throughout the regular season for $250 million according to the NY Times.   Notably, the NFL did not give up exclusivity as the games aired on CBS will also be available on the NFL Network.  Many believe that the rights fee deal could rival the NASCAR deal which drew a total of $820 million over 10 years from Fox and NBC.  Others believe that it may be able to double its current fees whish would still be a great improvement.  WWE stock has gone up in the past month as it is trading in the $20 dollar range – a benchmark never seen by the company since it went public.  This is due in part to the hedging that the rights deal will break the bank.

Payout Take: Losing exclusivity to deal with the WWE was a likely scenario as the WWE wants to field offers from others.  We should see by the end of February where the WWE may land.  It still could end up with NBCU but for a bigger price tag.

WWE-Mattel ink new deal

Variety reports that the WWE and Mattel have entered into 5 year agreement for Mattel to be the primary toymaker for the company.  The agreement will go through 2019 and will encompass toys and video games.

Notably, the WWE obtained the trademark for CM Punk late last year for use in toys, action figures, dolls, etc. The WWE has had the use of the CM Punk mark for wrestling since 2009 and for use of clothing since 2011.  It filed for the Daniel Bryan trademark for use with toys last week.

Payout Take:  The deal is an example of how the WWE’s choice to more PG content has aided its business outside of the wrestling ring.  Without the move to more family friendly content, it would not have landed Mattel.  If you were wondering, if the rumors are true that CM Punk is gone from the WWE and Phil Brooks decides to wrestle again somewhere, he’d have to use his own name or else be subject to a lawsuit from the WWE.

One Response to “The Wrestling Post – 02.17.14”

  1. wqewqeqw on February 18th, 2014 5:53 PM

    WWE ends up with NBCU or Disney…

    Fox and Viacom don’t make sense.

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