WWE Dips as NBC Deal 'Not What We Wanted'

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) shares dipped Monday as the company discussed in a conference call its business outlook from last week that caused the share price to drop nearly in half as investors were concerned about the viability of the WWE Network and the company's new television rights deal.

On the call, CEO Vince McMahon said WWE was a little disappointed, quite frankly, in the NBC Universal deal. "We nearly doubled our prior deals," McMahon said, calling from London, where he is producing Monday Night Raw. He noted the company raised its rights revenue by about two times when factoring in international deals. "Internationally, we did much better than domestically. A good deal," McMahon said referring to the NBC Universal deal. But it wasn't "what we wanted," he said.

Following the new television rights announcement, WWE said that it expects to potentially double or triple its 2012 OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization) to a range of $125 million to $190 million by 2015.

On the call, McMahon noted that WWE Network, a $9.99 a month streaming over-the-top service, affected the television rights deals but he wasn't sure how much. "The other aspect [of not launching the network now] is if we didn't come out with network when we did, it would've taken us another year. I do know it was a part of a lighter number in term of television rights, but not the whole."

Shares were down 1.6% to $11.09 in mid-Monday trading.

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