Timeline Of Events: WWE Announces New TV Deal, Stock Price Tanks, Vince McMahon Loses Third Of Net Worth, Major Changes Demanded, Investigation Launched

It’s been quite the week for WWE as they announced their new domestic TV licensing agreement with NBCUniversal. While the company had indicated to investors they would double or triple what they made annually in TV licensing fees, the deal saw a moderate increase that underwhelmed.

Below is a complete timeline of events leading up to and following the announcement of WWE’s new deal with NBCUniversal:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014: WWE’s stock price closes strong on reports the company has reached a new domestic TV agreement with NBCUniversal.

WWE Stock Closes Strong

Thursday, May 15, 2014: WWE announces new multi-year TV distribution agreement with NBCUniversal.  It’s learned the company will increase annual TV licensing fees across the world to approximately $200 million.

Friday, May 16, 2014: WWE’s stock price drops over 45% as Wall Street reacts to the news.

WWE Stock Decline

Friday, May 16, 2014: Vince McMahon’s net worth declines nearly 1/3, losing over $340 million as a result of the selloff. The hit is strong enough to take him off the billionaire’s list. According to the real-time wealth tracker of Forbes, McMahon’s net worth is now estimated at $750 million (down from an estimated $1.2 billion in March 2014).

Friday, May 16, 2014: WWE announces that Vince McMahon and Chief Financial Officer George Barrios will hold a Business Outlook conference call on Monday morning at 11 AM EDT.

Friday, May 16, 2014: Lemelson Capital Management, a private investment management firm, announces they have a stake in shares of WWE and are calling on the Board of Directors to replace the executive management team or explore the sale of the business.

Saturday, May 17, 2014: Former Attorney General of Louisiana, Charles C. Foti, Jr., Esq., a partner at the law firm of Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC, announces that KSF has commenced an investigation on whether WWE and/or its officers and directors violated state or federal securities laws.

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  • Brandon van Reenen

    I blame PG programming. :/

    • adam

      lol, if you do you have no idea what you’re talking about

      • Mysterion

        I get the feeling you, sir, have no idea what a joke is.

        • Brandon van Reenen

          No, he clearly does not. Nor do the 4 people who upvoted him. -_-

      • Brandon van Reenen

        You clearly do not get the concept of sarcasm.

      • King James

        Ratings have been crap since the PG era started, and Vince/WWE is losing money. You sir are clueless.

  • BIG M

    Richard on a scale of 1 to10 how bad is this for VKM and the future of WWE.

    • Vic Jose

      I’d like to know that myself

      • BIG M

        Just asked again on ask WNW hopefully we’ll get an answer there.

        • Judas

          I believe the “investment firm” above is your standard hostile takeover company. They buy a big stake in a stock that’s dropping, and then try and sell off each portion of the company (like Gordon Gecko in “Wall Street”). If Vince still owns the majority of the company, I don’t think wwe will be going anywhere. The network however will probably be put on the back burner with all the trouble its causing wwe, similar to how wwe 24/7 became an afterthought

          • BIG M

            Well in regards to the network the only reason I would subscribe and I think its the main reason anyone has subscribed to it so far is for the on demand library and new original shows like Legends house not the new PPV’s.
            I mean look at this years WrestleMania over 400’000 people bought it the old fashioned way if those people were sighed on to the network WWE would have that magical 1 million subscribers they desperately need now more than ever.
            If I were VKM I wouldn’t air PPV’s on the Network first I would give Cable and satellite the live broadcasts and then Reply them on the network the next night 3 hours before Raw airs.
            That way WWE doesn’t lose PPV revenue and People who have the network still watch the PPV’s on the cheap but just a few Hours later.

          • Judas

            The main reason I got it was for the vault collection as well. And wwe 24/7 was around until a month before they started the network, but they had completely scaled down most “new” programming a few years before. Thats what I meant by after thought, not that it would be shut down.

  • Smarky

    I blame this on the end of the streak

  • david

    Their TV rights deal with NBC Universal was a disappointment but if I had to guess I would think it’s possible they may have given up some money for quicker windows on replays. But I guess time will tell. It might have been smarter to shop their shows individually like in the past.

    • Vic Jose

      Mostly a disappointment because they expected too much.

  • Evon Callaway Bitterweed Reese

    I blame it on the network

    • John

      The WWE Network is one of the best things WWE has ever produced.. But it’s probably going to be the companies biggest ever failure!

      • Evon Callaway Bitterweed Reese

        I agree and it’s because of people like me that is just not that tech savy. I try to watch over the xbox and a lot of times it tells me it’s not available. People are not going out to spend money on new equipment to watch it. I enjoy NXT and The Legends house when I can get to watch it. I think NXT and the Legends House would do good on cable. The way they have WWE workers on NXT working with the up and coming is great.

        • Vic Jose

          I think the biggest problem with the network is that for some unknown stupid reason they didn’t launch it worldwide, why i’ll never know? This is not a tv network that needs to get programming rights and carriage agreements, it’s an online network that technically anyone around the world can watch with the right settings, so why delay a worldwide launch?

          • Evon Callaway Bitterweed Reese

            I don’t understand that either. It just seems dumb. There’s must be technical reasons or laws behind it I don’t understand. But from my stand point it’s stupid not to launch it world wide

          • Bob’s Diner

            It has to do with the agreements they have in other countries regarding their content. It is the same reason streaming sites like Netflix have different content for different countries, or Hulu isn’t available outside the USA – whereas certain other wrestling streaming services are available worldwide because they don’t have to worry about that type of thing.

            Other countries also have different classifications for viewing standards (eg. what might be PG in the USA would get reclassified by another countries standards) – that is a requirement by law and also costs time and money.

      • Guest

        There has been no evidence of this. What happened with NBCUniversal has nothing in the least with the Network.

        • John

          I never said there was any evidence to say it will fail, but that’s just my opinion. They won’t get anywhere near the subscriber rate that they need for the Network to be financially successful.

  • Vic Jose

    So the way I see it, the investors are pissed because they bought a bunch of stock on Thursday, then ended up losing it all on Friday, that’s their fault not Vince’s, lol.

  • Vic Jose

    Bring on Jarrett and Toby Keith to take over! lol

  • Jason

    Vince was making a ridiculous statement when he said that he wanted and/or expected the kind of deal NASCAR is getting. NASCAR has over 25 hours of LIVE programming each week on average, with some weekends having in excess of 60 hours, compared to WWE’s 3 hours of live programming and 4 hours of pre-recorded programming. Plus, NASCAR has fully live coverage on their website. A company that has 25 hours of average live coverage should get the type of deal that NASCAR gets. Also, NASCAR has an average fan base several times that of WWE. I read in the press release that WWE has over 10 million viewers between all their programs. How many of those viewers are repeat viewers? You aren’t talking about 10 million different viewers between each program, you are talking about total amount of viewers. In total, there are probably just about 5 million different people watching WWE programming on TV. I am thinking that number because you get 4.2 million on Raw, then factor in the 800,000 that watch Total Diva’s that don’t watch Raw or Smackdown. So, my question to WWE, how many of those 10 million viewers are “unique” viewers, meaning they only watch that one program?