WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon stated on an earnings conference call last month that the possibility of WWE selling the rights of their major PPVs to another streaming service was an option they were looking at.
McMahon expressed confidence in a deal getting done as soon as the end of the first quarter of this year. However, a deal hasn’t been reached yet.
This also came at a time where he made the call to let go of WWE Co-Presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson, which upset investors.
Fast forward to this week, it was revealed in a WWE filing with the SEC that McMahon agreed to a variable prepaid forward contract to pledge approximately 3.5 million shares of his Class B common stock.
This deal would allow him to have this stock until 2024 but he would get the money up front. The reason for this is due to him being able to provide WWE liquidity. He will still be allowed to maintain voting and ordinary dividend rights in the stock until 2024.
A new report by Deadline noted that analyst Alan Gould of Loop Capital stated to investors that this move by McMahon indicates that a potential deal with a streaming service for the rights of WWE PPV events is not happening.
“We do not believe Mr. McMahon would be entering a prepaid forward contract on 15% of his shares, about 3.5 million of them, in front of such an announcement.”
Gould added that with WrestleMania 36 being moved to the Performance Center and not allowing fans in attendance will generate less revenue this year.