WWE News: Stephanie McMahon says WWE could be sold to Fox or Disney
WWE's Chief Brand Officer linked the current WWE to Disney when it comes to their surge in mainstream popularity
What’s the story?
There have been many rumors circulating for the past few months about whether WWE is for sale following the announcement of Vince McMahon's new venture Alpha Entertainment.
Well, Stephanie McMahon recently spoke to Bloomberg Businessweek about the current state of WWE and who the company could be sold to.
In case you didn’t know…
It has previously been reported that, with UFC being sold for $4 billion, Vince McMahon had a change of heart and has been open to the possibility of selling up.
On a recent conference call, Triple H was asked about whether WWE was "open for business" in terms of a potential sale and he also commented that it's "obvious" Vince McMahon is open to offers.
The heart of the matter
Well, it seems more likely than ever that WWE may be sold soon, with the company being arguably more mainstream than ever with the success of The Rock, Batista and John Cena in Hollywood, not to mention the recent signing of Ronda Rousey, but who would be interested?
Bloomberg Businessweek asked Stephanie McMahon whether it was possible that WWE could be sold to a large media organization looking for live content, notably Disney or 21st Century Fox.
We've certainly thought about it. It would be foolish not to.
A quote which echoed previous comments from Triple H, but the most interesting part of the interview came when Bloomberg Businessweek asked about WWE's transformation into more of a mainstream product.
There was a time when it came across as seedy, kind of playing to barroom brawls. [Now] our lines of business are really more akin to Disney than they are to anything else.
The callback to Disney is very interesting as, with WWE now being a "PG" product, it could be seen as a very viable option for Disney to invest in- particularly after adding Marvel and Star Wars in recent years.
Stephanie also spoke about WWE's expansion outside of the US and commented that more international talent could join the company soon.
Forty percent of our talent roster is international. We're looking to grow that.
While this seems like a conversation that just won't go away, things are starting to hot up now and a deal seems more likely than ever - but you can bet that Vince McMahon would want any deal to eclipse the $4 billion paid for UFC.
The resurgence of the XFL may indeed be a catalyst to WWE being sold this year.
Well, I've commented in the past saying I believe Disney, Fox, and Facebook are the three BIG contenders when it comes to any potential sale.
It'll be interesting to see what comes of this when WrestleMania takes place this year, and when the build-up for XFL really starts to heat up. WWE's future TV deal may also hold the key to this with the USA Network rumored to be facing some competition for RAW and SmackDown.
With WWE Network holding steady at around 1.5 million subscribers, the YouTube channel reaching over 22 million subscribers, and WWE's Twitter hitting 10 million subscribers - WWE is a much more enticing asset for any company than ever before.
Add to this, RAW hitting a viewership of 4.5 million on the 25th Anniversary show, and not dropping below 3 million since and you can see why there may be interest from a big name organization looking for live content.
It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out.
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