The CEO of Anthem Sports which owns IMPACT Wrestling has warned costs could be cut in WWE if sold to certain suitors.
Vince McMahon returned from his short-lived retirement to WWE’s Board of Directors in the first week of January 2023, subsequently being installed as the company’s Executive Chairman with his daughter Stephanie McMahon resigning from her roles as Chairwoman and co-CEO.
The word from WWE is that McMahon’s role is strategic as the company sets out to get the best rights deals and possibly sets itself up for a sale. Rumours that the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund was on the brink of buying WWE were said to be “completely false” by company insiders although the PIF remains “in the hunt” if a sale takes place.
Speaking on Bloomberg, Anthem Sports CEO Leonard Asper discussed a potential WWE sale and says that depending on who buys the company, it could be taken to another level or see its costs slashed:
“We’re watching it closely. It’s a hot area right now and I’m glad we’re in it. It is the example of a multi-headed beast and in a great way. They sell their content to third parties, they have their own direct to consumer app, they have their own free distribution of content. It’s one where the talent drives a lot of what the success ratio is.”
“All Elite Wrestling came along and bought a bunch of wrestlers from WWE. There is a little bit of talent war going on there. I think whoever buys WWE, they will probably take it to a new level, especially if they are a strategic media company. Amazon, Disney, they have a whole ecosystem of how to build revenue from content.”
“If private equity guys want to buy it, it’s going to get cost cuts and that usual thing, they’ll leverage up and do what they do. If a strategic media company buys it, I’d back that strategic media company because that’s a great franchise.”
AEW owner Tony Khan has not ruled out being a potential buyer for WWE and touted his family’s history of getting big deals done.