Vince McMahon may have played a part in TKO stock dropping after a new deal for SmackDown was announced.
SmackDown will be on the move in 2024 as WWE’s blue brand will leave FOX and return to the USA Network as part of a billion-dollar deal. However, when the deal was announced, it appeared to lead to a fall in the price of TKO Group’s stock.
Writing about the situation at the time in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer noted that the fall could have been down to Wall Street expecting a higher value deal:
“Neither side released the financials of the deal but the word is that they will average $287 million over the five years, a 40 percent increase over the $205 million on the FOX deal. However, this has led to a stock decline since Wall Street was expecting a minimum of $307.5 million on the deal and that number was part of the stock price.”
Was Vince McMahon a factor in TKO stock drop?
Speaking at Bloomberg’s Screentime conference Endeavor and TKO Group CEO Ari Emanuel explained that he thinks the drop in stock price was down to three factors and one of them was Vince McMahon:
“I think there’s three things that happened. One, the reason the stock is down is they thought Raw was the best package. I saw 40 percent increase which was in line with expectations… Two, the P.F.L. situation and three, probably Vince (McMahon) in our deal, wanted to be able to put, at any point in time, his stock. He’s 78 years old. He’s been working at this for decades and decades so, I think those three back-to-back issues.”
Vince McMahon holds around 28.84 million TKO shares but unlike other shareholders who are held to a lockup period, all of McMahon’s shares are listed as for sale. That move could surround giving both McMahon and TKO Group flexibility in his role in the company but an SEC filing notes that McMahon and two other TKO executives “will be selling stockholders in this offering.” It remains to be seen how long Vince McMahon will remain part of the corporate structure in the company.