Sports Finance Report: NBCUniversal To Sign Monster Deal for RAW, WWE Shares Skyrocketing
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NBCUniversal To Sign Monster Deal for RAW, WWE Shares Skyrocketing
It’s been reported that NBCUniversal (CMCSA) intends on retaining exclusive broadcast rights to WWE Monday Night Raw with a deal worth +/- $240 million/year. Under the terms of the proposed contract, RAW will remain on USA Network where it’s resided since ’05. WWE will have to find a new home for SmackDown Live though, as NBCUniversal passed on renewing its expiring deal with the franchise. It’s been rumored that the SmackDown Live package could be worth an additional +/- $110 million/year (worth $30 million/year under current deal), with Fox, Amazon Prime and Facebook Live all considered viable landing spots for the Tuesday night show (6th most watched on cable TV).
Howie Long-Short: The outcome of this deal represents best-case scenario for the wrestling promotion. The value of their broadcasts will double (worth $180 million in ’18) and should Fox land SmackDown Live, it’s possible that they would broadcast the show on their over-the-air TV network; had Fox (FOXA) won rights to both shows, it’s likely SmackDown would have been relegated to FS1 (30 million less households). Should SmackDown Live end up on Fox, the show would have the opportunity to beat RAW in the ratings for the first time since the company split the roster in 2002.
The WWE is projecting record revenue in ’18, boosted the company’s deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (reportedly worth +/- $20 million/year) and with a reduced corporate tax rate, it’s possible (if not likely) the company will set a record for profits too. Combine that rosy outlook with the enthusiasm over the company’s pending TV deals and it explains why shares are up 18% (to $51.42) since Thursday (5.17).
Fan Marino: Hulk Hogan, who has been out of favor with the WWE since ’15 (racist comments), is reportedly in discussions with the promotion about a return. Once the face of the organization, the company was quick to remove all references to the Hulkster following the incident. While purely speculation, WrestleMania 35 (New York City, April ‘19) would seem like an opportune time to bring him back; of course, Hogan and Mr. T faced Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff in the main event at WrestleMania I in 1985.
WHOOP Launches Wearables Subscription Service, Study Shows Wearables Don’t Work
WHOOP, a health tracking and performance wearables company that sells its device for $500, has introduced a $30/mo. subscription service to reach a wider demographic (i.e. beyond elite athletes) as it pursues international expansion. The service includes the wrist-based wearable device, offers advanced analytics and access to the Whoop community (think: social network for fitness minded). Meant to be worn 24/7 (it’s waterproof), WHOOP collects 5 metrics (think: heart rate, motion, skin conductivity) 100x/second; far more than the average wearable. The company then stores that data on their servers, scrutinizes it and then provides the user with professional quality sleep, recovery and exercise analysis. WHOOP markets the technology as a way for humans to “perform at the highest level” and maintains an impressive list of clientele including; MLB (device approved for game use), the NFL (NFLPA using it to track player recovery) and Duke Men’s basketball.
Howie Long-Short: WHOOP, a privately held entity, has raised +/- $50 million to date from a series of high profile sports-related investors (and venture funds) including; David Stern (former NBA Commissioner), Durant Company, NFLPA and Russell Okung (Chargers tackle). There is one way to play the company though, Infosys Ltd; an Indian multinational corporation that offers business consulting, IT and outsourcing services. The company invested $3 million dollars in WHOOP’s $15 million Series B round in December ’15. The company trades on the NYSE under the symbol INFY.
Fan Marino: Before you add $30/mo. in recurring expenses to your bottom line, consider the results of a research study conducted by researchers at Bond University in Queensland. The group identified 250,000 health and wellness apps available to the public (only 22 had enough data to review) and found just ONE (Get Happy) had enough evidence to prove its efficacy (many made issue worse). Interestingly, the researchers found that users of MyFitnessPal (has tens of millions of users), the app acquired by Under Armour by $475 million, “showed no significant reduction in weight loss or behaviors around physical activity and diet when compared with those who did not use the app.” If anyone is surprised that counting steps won’t turn you into an Adonis, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.
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JohnWallStreet, located at the intersection of sports and finance, is a destination for the educated sports fan.
While we won’t be publishing “hot takes” on LeBron’s relative greatness to Jordan, we will be offering up the most relevant sports related business news, in easily digestible bites, with commentary from both the sports money and sports fanatic perspectives.
We’ll cover publicly traded professional teams & stadiums (MSG, RCI, BATRA, MANU), television networks (DIS, FOXA, CMCSA, CBS, TWX, MSGN), apparel & footwear companies (NKE, UAA, ADDYY, FL, LULU), equipment companies (GOLF, ELY, FIT), ticketing companies (EBAY, LYV) content and facilities providers (CHDN, DVD, ISCA,TRK, LMCA). If it trades on Wall Street, and has a sports angle, it’s in our wheel house.
Howie Long-Short and Fan Marino will be providing their expert opinions on each story. They have slightly different areas of expertise. Fan Marino is a firm believer that the SEC is the premier football conference. Howie Long-Short knows it as the Securities & Exchange Commission. Fan Marino lives and dies with the college selection of 5 star, blue chip recruits. Howie Long-Short spends his days analyzing blue chip stocks. Howie Long-Short knows that Black Monday occurred on October 19th, 1987. Fan Marino swears it happens every January after Week 17. You get the point.