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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