By Oke Kay Snyder
In a move that can only be described as “life imitating video games,” TKO Group, a fusion of the WWE and UFC behemoths, has entered the New York Stock Exchange ring. With an opening of $102 per share, it’s hard to tell if that’s a stock price or a wrestler’s weight.
Endeavor Group’s recent merger with WWE creates a $21.4 billion behemoth, because, apparently, wrestling a sweaty guy in a cage is worth billions. In April, when the WWE and Endeavor started flirting, it was said they’d cross-promote to drive brand awareness. Probably something along the lines of, “Watch John Cena try to chokehold a UFC fighter!” With over 700 million UFC and 1.2 billion WWE fans, that’s a lot of eyeballs—and chokeholds.
Endeavor’s controlling interest in the new company has raised a few eyebrows. Or as we call it in the wrestling world, ‘a double eyebrow raise followed by a body slam.’ With UFC and WWE under the same roof, it’s hard to know where the scripted drama ends and the real drama begins.
Jefferies analyst Randal Konik praises the combination, noting the shift from linear TV to streaming. Apparently, watching two grown men wrestle in their underpants is in high demand. Hey, we don’t judge. As for rights expirations, the opportunities they bring could be as dramatic as an Undertaker comeback.
Trading under the ticker symbol “TKO,” one might think they’re trying to send a message. Then again, if you were a $21.4 billion sports entertainment company, you might be throwing a few punches too.
To sum it all up: for those not keen on joining the fight, investing might be a safer bet. After all, the only knockouts we want to see are those record-breaking share prices!
Disclaimer: Investing in stocks involves risks, including losing money. Always do your own research before making any investment decisions.