CNBC Slams WWE Network, Says Stock Will Take a Hit
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 01.13.2014
They're not pulling punches...
- CNBC has fired shots at the WWE Network in a new financial article titled "WWE is going to belly flop." The article is rather dismissive of wrestling fans and the industry as a whole, with comments like:
"Good news for "professional" wrestling fans: No, it's not actually real. However, now you can enjoy wrestling 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the comfort of your parents' basement."
In the article, portfolio manager John Stephenson notes, "I think they're already on the top rope after that 111% increase last year. There's nowhere to go but down. The core business is just deteriorating. You don't have enough young men looking at wrestling with its scripted program. You're looking at a model that's in decline and valuation is stupidly high."
The article does include some positive comments by Talking Numbers contributor Richard Ross, who disagreed and says, "This move to streaming is genius. Wrestling is a rating juggernaut, second only to the NFL in terms of average views. And, with those domestic TV deals all expiring this year, these guys are going to cash in coming and going."
It is worth mentioning that the company is owned by NBC/Universal, who are in negotiations over WWE's TV rights fees which expire this year. It is believed that the WWE Network announcement was timed to add some pressure to those negotiations.