WWE Network logo at 2014 International CES at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on Jan. 8, 2014 in Las Vegas.
WWE Network logo at 2014 International CES at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on Jan. 8, 2014 in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller—Getty Images

WWE Is Taking a Beating—And Not the Fake for TV Kind of Beating

May 16, 2014

The publicly traded company World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE, took a substantial hit Friday as investors reacted to a dismal earnings outlook, sending shares plummeting 50% in premarket trading.

The news comes a day after WWE and NBC Universal announced a deal to carry WWE programs Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown on the USA and SyFy networks, respectively.

The company is transitioning from pay-per-view to a business model built on broadcast cable deals and online streaming; WWE hopes to capitalize on the roughly half of U.S. households with broadband it estimates WWE fans. The company estimates that globally it will need to add 1.3 to 1.4 million subscribers to offset cannibalization of its pay-per-view services.

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