The Vince McMahon story is moving fast. If you have not been paying attention, the WWE Chairman and CEO has agreed to step down from those roles as an investigation into multi-million dollar hush payments is conducted.
Nobody from the WWE has discussed selling the brand, which is the biggest Sports Entertainment company in the world, but there have been some signs that maybe the WWE was being positioned to sell in the near future long before any of the latest news broke.
The WWE has been reducing costs over the past year by dropping numerous established performers. The move mirrors the way other companies scale down while preparing for a sale. The WWE also stopped operating the WWE Network in the US after it came to an agreement with Comcast-owned, Peacock to house its content library and be the home to its live premium events.
All reports are that the arrangement has been good for both parties as over 1 million WWE subscribers jumped to the platform and other Peacock subscribers began to jump into the content as well. Sports fans may also recall that NBC was part of a joint venture with McMahon when the XFL, launched in 2001. The WWE has worked with Universal on other projects such as an Undertaker-based attraction for Halloween Horror Nights.
If the WWE were folded in as a brand the move would allow the company to have another owned and operated content library with international appeal and a chance to do more promotion through its parks. Emagine WWE branded merchandise selling alongside minions and WWE studios becoming part of the Universal portfolio.
For those reasons and more, if the WWE is sold any time soon, expect Comcast/Universal to be a big bidder for the company.