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WWE CEO Vince McMahon Loses $350M In One Day

After a new TV deal with NBC Universal fell short of expectations, Wall Street laid the smackdown on WWE Chairman Vince McMahon's billionaire fortune.
Posted at 10:47 PM, May 20, 2014

WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is used to taking beatings inside the wrestling ring, but rarely outside of it. Until now. (Via U.S. ArmyFlickr / Randall Chancellor)

Due to less-than-stellar figures from WWE's new TV deal and a lack of any real traction for its new online streaming service, investors laid the smackdown on McMahon's pocketbook, costing the pro wrestling titan a third of his fortune in a single day.

Following the signing of WWE's $150 million TV contract with NBC Universal Thursday, WWE's stock took a hard right to the chin with a 44 percent nosedive — its biggest since its 1999 IPO. (Via WWE, Business Insider)

The new deal tacked 70 percent onto what NBCU had previously paid to air WWE's "Raw" and "Smackdown" and E!'s "Total Divas. Though, a writer for the Los Angeles Times said that wasn't enough to quell investor concerns. (Via Wikimedia Commons /jjronJBZA2003, E! Online)

"Last February when WWE went public that it was shopping its shows, it left Wall Street with the impression that the new deals would be at least double what it was currently getting and possibly a lot more." (Via Los Angeles Times)

Still, McMahon remains optimistic, saying the value of WWE's content will only grow with time. (Via CNN)

 

That brings us to the new WWE Network, which, as you'd say in the world of pro wrestling, hasn't really made the "hot tag." Basically, the new guy in the ring isn't doing so well.

Launched in February, the online streaming service gives fans unlimited access to WWE content for an annual cost about one-third the price of a single pay-per-view event. But it's only garnered about 660,000 subscriptions, which investors say is sub par. (Via WWE)

Again, McMahon said give it some time to pan out. (Via U.S. Air Force)

But, Business Insider said this new subscriber explosion McMahon speaks of is unlikely, and it has a lot do with WWE's fan base, which really isn't the same as for traditional sports.

"This logic is extremely flawed. While it's nice that 52 million households have 'affinity' for the WWE, the fact is that only about 5 million people watch the company's flagship cable show, 'Monday Night Raw,' each week. ... People who aren't watching the company's free offerings would be unlikely to pay $9.99 monthly for premium content."

Still, McMahon believes they can attract new viewers as long as they create new characters. Which is likely why he put his son-in-law and 20-year in-ring veteran Paul Levesque – better known as "Triple H" – in charge of talent. (Via YouTube /clickonthisshow)

In fact, last year, WWE opened a new training facility in Florida where pro wrestling hopefuls find out if they're tough enough and charismatic enough to be the next breakout superstar. (Via YouTube /Attractions Magazine)