- World Wrestling (WWE) shares plunged 43% Friday after CEO Vince McMahon failed to wring a huge increase in TV fees from NBCUniversal, raising questions about WWE's future and highlighting a shortcoming in McMahon's leadership style: While an unbeatable promoter, he has at times struggled to master corporate negotiations and dealings with Wall Street.
- McMahon took the TV negotiations personally: He played hardball in talks with NBCUniversal, demanding to more than double the value of their previous ~$100M deal, but he wound up renewing the deal with an increase analysts estimate at 50% - nice, but well short of what Wall Street had come to expect, and what McMahon may have bragged he would get.
- "The bottom line is no other entities were willing to pay a higher price tag for the programming than its current partner.” analyst Daniel Moore says.
- Despite being short WWE two months ago, Lemelson Capital is now long WWE and calling for the board to replace the management team or explore a sale of the company.
WWE's stock smackdown is a blow to Vince McMahon's credibility
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