Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel talks WWE acquisition, using UFC’s formula

June 28, 2023 0 By JohnValbyNation

Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel has commented on his company's acquisition of WWE last month. 

WWE and UFC will merge into a newly created company as part of the deal. Emanuel will be the new company's CEO while Vince McMahon will serve as Executive Chairman. Emanuel spoke about the deal on Wednesday during an appearance on CNBC's ‘Squawk on the Street.’ 

He was asked if he plans on letting WWE "do what they want to do," and responded:

Exactly, and we do what we do as it relates to saving some cost, driving some revenue with sponsorship, international sales. Like we did at UFC, we're going to do 2.0 at WWE. 

When asked about upcoming television rights negotiations, Emanuel noted that with WWE and UFC's deals expiring at different times, it puts the two brands on separate paths. 

Emanuel said:

Right now, we're focused on saving some cost, doing sponsorship, which they didn't have. It's the same formula we used at UFC. 

[WWE's] rights are open now, [UFC's] in a year and a half from now. I think they are on separate time frames. 

Emanuel's comments about separate television rights agreements echo what WWE's Nick Khan told Axios last month. However, Khan wouldn't rule out the possibility of the new company seeking a combined streaming deal for both WWE and UFC. WWE's current deal with NBC Universal for streaming rights expires in 2026 and UFC's deal with ESPN+ in 2026. 

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