The Future. Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel’s newly created fight empire has officially entered the ring… er… public markets. With the intention of not just increasing the footprint of both UFC and WWE but also expanding the divisions’ media output (films, docs, and social content), TKO may supercharge the amount of fighting talent who can become bonafide stars like Dwayne Johnson, John Cena, and Dave Bautista.
TKO Group, the tie-up between WWE and UFC, went public on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TKO.
- Emanuel is the company’s CEO, while WWE’s Vince McMahon is executive chairman and UFC’s Dana White remains CEO of the UFC Division.
- The company is valued at $21 billion, but Endeavor (which has 51% ownership) said its results will be reported under its Owned Sports Properties Segment, which includes Professional Bull Riding and Euroleague Basketball.
The new fighting sports giant — which Endeavor president Mark Shapiro says is a complimentary relationship with WWE being more “family-centric,” while UFC is more international and college-age — will reportedly reach viewers in 180 countries and put on more than 350 annual events. Essentially, there’s TKO, and then there’s everyone else.
That’ll be catnip when it comes time to renew broadcast and streaming rights in the coming years (WWE with Fox, and NBCUniversal and UFC with ESPN). In the media landscape, Endeavor will now be the ringleader.