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WWE shares take a beating as TV deal fails to impress
May 16, 2014 / 3:15 PM / 4 years ago

WWE shares take a beating as TV deal fails to impress

(Reuters) - World Wrestling Entertainment Inc lost almost half its market value in morning trade on Friday as its new TV deal with NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment failed to convince investors that the company was capable of winning more subscribers.

WWE wrestlers Kelly Kelly and Triple H pose for photographers prior to ringing the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange October 27, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Shares of WWE, which produces “Monday Night Raw” and “Friday Night SmackDown”, fell as much as 47 percent to $10.56.

WWE said on Thursday that it had entered into a multi-year licensing partnership with NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a unit of NBCUniversal Inc, for its flagship shows.

“The company’s valuation could take a heavy beating this morning, as the new domestic TV deal with NBC likely disappointed investors over limited visibility/ believability on the ultimate success of the network,” Benchmark analyst Mike Hickey wrote in a note.

The company shed $704.2 million of its market value on Friday.

WWE forecast a loss of between $45 million and $52 million for 2014.

Shares of the Stamford, Connecticut-based company closed at $19.93 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Reporting By Lehar Maan in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings

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