Endeavor is vulnerable, but massively profitable UFC is 'definitely not for sale'
These are the proverbial 'interesting times' for the would-be king of Hollywood agents
It’s a confusing time for those of us paying attention to Ari Emanuel’s business empire(s). It seems like things are going amazingly great for his brand new publicly traded company TKO.
That’s the combat sports entertainment behemoth he forged by acquiring and combining Vince McMahon’s WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and Dana White’s UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).
And it is spinning off revenue like you wouldn’t believe.
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According to publicly released financial information, as reported by MMA Fighting, “During the first two quarters of 2023, the UFC produced $611.9 million in revenue across media rights and content, live events, sponsorship and consumer product licensing. Media rights and content, which is largely based upon a deal with ESPN, paid out the largest revenue with $224.1 million in the first quarter and then $211.7 million in the second quarter.
“Live events accounted for $63.8 million, while sponsorships were at 54.2 million for the first half of 2023. Finally, consumer product licensing produced 18.1 million in revenue.
“According to the SEC filing, the UFC saw an 18 percent increase between the first quarter in 2023 and the same time during 2022. The second quarter was up 14 percent year over year between 2023 and 2022.”
And that’s not even the whole story.
“Based on the financial records disclosed on Wednesday, WWE is also enjoying good year, with $707.9 million in revenue produced for the first two quarters of 2023. WWE dropped 11 percent in revenue for the first quarter in 2023 compared to 2022, but then it rebounded with a 25 percent increase year over year in the second quarter.”
You’d think the markets would be falling all over themselves to reward financial results like this. I mean surely TKO’s stock price is going up, up and away, right?
Except it’s not.