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NewsTKO Considering Reducing The Amount Of WWE Live Events - Details

TKO Considering Reducing The Amount Of WWE Live Events – Details

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Mark Shapiro recently spoke at the UBS Global Media & Communication Conference and provided an update on the future of WWE live events.

The TKO COO announced that WWE was looking at reducing their number of live events, as well as other cost-cutting measures.

Shapiro said that house shows (referred to as “cards” or “superstar events”) helped WWE build the audience and bring “the brand to C and D counties.”

WWE runs 300 events a year and only 170 are televised. Shapiro said,

“From a margin perspective, they’re dilutive. There’s probably an opportunity, as we go through our synergies and efficiency opportunities, to cut back on some of those non-televised events which, of course, will push our margin up.”

Shapiro further added that TKO could save up to $100 million in efficiencies after the WWE-UFC merger, and the company will hit 75% of that by the end of next year. He said,

“There are a lot of production efficiencies. Even if our production chiefs want to tell me there’s not, frankly, I worked at ESPN for 12 years, I oversaw all production, I have been through all the song and dance with every producer who treats every tape machine and camera like it’s a baby and doesn’t want to give it up. And we’re here to improve our margins. We’re going to scrutinize every dollar on production for every single event, every single one of these telecasts, and improve our savings.”

He said that TKO is still considering site fees for WWE and UFC, noting that their deal in Australia brought in $16 million.

Shapiro also noted that Vince McMahon’s “manifesto” about no sponsorship on the ring mat or other places in WWE has been “thrown out.”

TKO plans to follow the same plan they had with the UFC for in-venue deals as WWE’s audience was “very diverse, 40% female and heavy family.”

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