Welcome to the latest episode of the Full-Court Finance podcast from Zacks Investment Research. On this episode, Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains breaks down World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE - Free Report) new TV deals with Comcast’s (CMCSA - Free Report) USA Network and Fox (FOXA - Free Report) . He also takes a look at WWE’s impressive growth, before he heads into some of the latest streaming sports news surrounding the NFL.
Last week, WWE signed two larger-than-expected TV deals for its flagship weekly shows. Both five-year deals are set to start in October 2019, with USA Network ready to continue to televise Raw on Monday nights, and Fox set to air SmackDown on Friday nights on its broadcasting channel. Investors should also note that WWE’s weekly programming grabs huge viewership numbers that place it in the same company as the NBA.
On top of that, the wrestling entertainment company’s streaming service, WWE Network, has performed well and has helped its stock price surge roughly 260% over the last year.
Fox stepped up its live sports offerings with this new deal, along with a $3.3 billion Thursday Night Football contract, amid its current acquisition talks with Disney (DIS - Free Report) and Comcast. These moves come at a time when live sports rights are more valuable than ever due to the rise of the likes of Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) and Hulu.
Moving on, CBS (CBS - Free Report) and the NFL just recently announced an expansion of their streaming agreement, which now includes game streaming access via mobile devices for CBS All Access and paid TV subscribers. The deal is significant since mobile streaming rights had previously been exclusive to Verizon (VZ - Free Report) .
Meanwhile, Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) is hoping the second season of its Thursday Night Football streaming coverage will perform better. Investors should also remember the e-commerce power beat out the likes of Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) and Google (GOOGL - Free Report) . Going forward, these big tech giants, along with Facebook (FB - Free Report) and others are set to spend big to shake up live sports programming.
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