In what can only be seen as a surprising turn of events, at least one man believes that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon wants to sell World Wrestling Entertainment. WWE has been under the McMahon name for the better part of a century. Vince McMahon, Jr. has held the company since the early 1980’s when he bought it from Vince, Sr. He took the company from a small independent territory to a worldwide phenomenon. Vince changed the game, and while many in the industry hated him for it, fans today thank him for what he has done for the business.
WWE may not be the same success it was in the 1990’s, but it is clearly a success. WWE has been partnering with several organizations that will allow them to bring in millions. Not only this, but WWE managed to get their TV contracts to go up. Sure, it was not as high as they would have liked. They didn’t lose money however, rather gained it. So WWE did not go from one price to another one down. Anything up means that WWE has done enough for them to see great revenue.
Still though, there are some who look at nuts and bolts and do not see the entire story when it comes to WWE. Lemelson Capital founder Emmanuel Lemelson believes that Vince wants to sell the WWE. He states that the company is in a “special situation.” He believes that the company lacks fiscal management but they contain excellent creative management.
He feels that a sale or at least a new management team will be coming in the future. He was quite positive about the WWE brand, however he was not without his critical comments. He believes that while WWE was once worth $1 billion, today it is worth under such due to the WWE Network launch. He stated…
“The OTT(over-the-top) network was a brilliant idea, but the timing and execution from a strategic partnership perspective were wrong, The real value of WWE is not the OTT network; it’s the moat around its brand and prospective earnings power under the right fiscal leadership.”
In a way, he was right. Despite the fact that the WWE Network sits at a low price of $9.99 and fans can get every PPV with it plus a lot more…it has not sold at the rate WWE hoped it would so stockholders have every right to be ticked about that. The Network is a good value however, as fans have to pay $50-60 for one PPV, but that is six months worth of the WWE Network plus the other content is provides. It pays for itself after two months. Yet fans seem to not be biting as much as WWE wants them to, which has led to many considering the network a failure currently. WWE still has been big on trying to sell it to the audience, which is why we have heard “$9.99” at least 10 times every show. However, they have not done as much as they wanted.
Lemelson believed that the third-quarter results will most likely not affect stock prices in either a positive or negative way. Earlier in the year, WWE Stock was the highest it has been since going public over 15 years ago. They have remained at a good size, fluctuating a bit after they signed a new network deal near the summer.
WWE’s third quarter results come out today, so we will see if Lemelson is right in regards to his feelings there.
What is interesting is that Mr. Lemelson has some sort of stake in WWE. Lemelson Capital own stock in the company. On top of this, the company has been a thorn in WWE’s side. They have been talking up about how WWE has lied to investors or stockholders in regards to numbers. They have also called for WWE’s executive management team to be replaced on more than one occasion.
Basically, Mr. Lemelson is doing some hopeful thinking. The company appears to be interested in buying WWE and would most likely do so in a big way if it were to go up for sale. However, it is not. Why would they sell when they are profiting millions every year even after major contracts are paid?
Lemelson wants new leadership in WWE but he’d want it to be his company that owned and operated most likely. So the company will say a lot of things, as we have seen, in order for people to believe it. If Emmanuel Lemelson says anything regarding WWE, it is most likely coming from a business man who sees WWE simply as a business. He does not understand the company itself. He does not understand the fans or really what they want. He does not realize that it is a family business and Vince seeks to continue that. No, WWE is not for sale nor will it ever be unless they cannot financially work. Currently, WWE’s last problem is with financials.
Lemelson also does not realize who Vince McMahon is. This is a man who would literally die before selling his company. Seriously, it would take death for him to do it. He has been bankrupt before, so it is not as if McMahon has not experienced rough times. Lemelson believes that WWE is “clearly an acquisition target,” however that does not mean the McMahon family would be willing to sell.
WWE needs to work on some story development and there is an edge that fans want to see back. However, WWE has not been more successful than now. So why would they change a successful formula? Also, why would they sell knowing that they are good right now and could be better with a few more changes?
[IMG Credits: wrestling.insidepulse.com, wwe.com, fansided.com]