UFC, WWE Owner TKO Reports First Earnings, Touting Media Rights and Global Growth Ambitions

TKO Group Holdings, the Endeavor-controlled public company that owns the UFC and WWE, reported its first quarterly earnings since the company was formed in September.

TKO, led by CEO Ari Emanuel and president and COO Mark Shapiro, is banking that synergies between the UFC and WWE, combined with escalating media rights deals and international expansion, will present a compelling growth story to Wall Street.

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To that end, the company guided that it expects synergies to come in at the high range of its previous guidance, announced an expansion of UFC fights in the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia, secured a new TV rights deal for WWE Smackdown with NBCUniversal, and inked UFC’s biggest ever sponsorship deal with AB InBev.

“Since launching TKO on September 12th, our teams at WWE, UFC, and Endeavor have been focused on integration and executing our strategy,” said Emanuel in a statement. “This includes identifying cost synergies at the high end of the range we guided, bringing events to new international markets including Saudi Arabia and Australia, delivering media rights increases for WWE, and closing the largest global partnership deal ever for UFC with AB InBev. We remain bullish about TKO’s ability to accelerate growth and unlock long-term value for shareholders.”

TKO reported Q3 revenue of $449.1 million and net income of $22 million, with an asterisk: The WWE’s contributions to those numbers only cover Sept. 12-Sept. 30, after the merger.

Had the WWE’s full quarter been factored in, it would have added more than $235 million to that revenue total.

UFC revenue was $397.5 million in Q3, with adjusted EBITDA of $238.3 million. WWE revenue was $51.6 million (it would have been $287.3 million if the full quarter was included), with adjusted EBITDA of $22 million.

More to come.

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