The UFC and WWE officially joined forces under the management of TKO and are taking the entertainment industry by storm.
This strategic union has given birth to TKO, a dynamic enterprise poised to leverage the collective strengths of these two global leaders in live-event promotion and sports entertainment.
In terms of ownership structure, Endeavor has secured a majority stake, holding 51% of the newly formed entity, while WWE shareholders will retain 49%. With an impressive valuation of $21.4 billion, TKO is poised to cater to an expansive audience, catering to “more than one billion young and diverse fans across 180 countries and hosting over 350 annual live events,” as disclosed in an official statement. To achieve these ambitious objectives, TKO intends to harness Endeavor’s extensive expertise in various domains, including domestic and international media rights, ticket sales optimization, event operations, global partnerships, licensing, and premium hospitality, all aimed at driving substantial revenue growth.
Heading this newly formed powerhouse is Ari Emanuel, the Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor. The esteemed Vince McMahon, renowned in the world of professional wrestling, assumes the role of Executive Chairman at the helm of the new venture, mirroring his position at WWE. Furthermore, Dana White, the President of UFC, has assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer within the organization.
Ari Emanuel expressed his enthusiasm for this transformative endeavor, stating, “The creation of TKO marks an exciting new chapter for UFC and WWE as leaders in global sports and entertainment. Given their continued connectivity to the Endeavor network, we are confident in our ability to accelerate their respective growth and unlock long-term sustainable value for shareholders.”
It’s noteworthy that Endeavor had acquired a majority stake in UFC back in 2016, a move that proved pivotal in shaping the landscape of mixed martial arts. This acquisition evolved into full ownership of UFC by Endeavor in 2021.
With the addition of WWE to its expanding portfolio, encompassing talent, sports, fashion, art, and other diversified ventures, Endeavor is strategically positioning itself to tap into the enduring appeal of live events, envisioning them as a potent catalyst for sustained growth. WWE’s significance as a provider of live TV programming further solidifies this endeavor, as live content has witnessed heightened value among networks, particularly in light of the shift in viewer preferences toward streaming video content, which has predominantly focused on scripted movies and series.