All Elite Wrestling (AEW), the professional wrestling promotion, was recently evaluated at a staggering $2 billion. This number has caused ripples in the wrestling and financial communities, with some questioning its accuracy.
Mike Ozanian, Assistant Managing Editor at Forbes Media and co-host/Managing Editor of Forbes SportsMoney, derived this figure after an in-depth analysis of AEW's recent business performance. Dave Meltzer, a noted voice from The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, voiced concerns about the whopping valuation, suggesting it might be inflated.
He drew parallels with the recent $100 million investment made by SRJ Sports Investments in the Professional Fighters League (PFL) and potential discussions about PFL's acquisition of Bellator MMA, estimated to be worth around $500 million.
Meltzer argued that if Bellator's valuation could hover around half a billion, AEW's actual worth might be twice as much, hinting at a $1 billion estimate.
AEW Valuation Debated
TakinMeltzer remarked to Twitter those doubting AEW's $1 billion estimate, with Bellator's half-billion talk, AEW indeed surpasses a double value." Responding to his tweet, the @FightOracle account emphasized that valuations are more of an art, stating that AEW's valuation could be significantly more than $1 billion.
Ozanian chimed in on the debate, doubling down on his $2 billion assessment for AEW, terming it a "likely minimum." Yet, Meltzer remained cautious, highlighting that relying on mere revenue projections can be misleading, especially with the fickle nature of the current TV industry.
Meanwhile, Tony Khan, AEW's President, CEO, and Head of Creative, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, confirmed receiving billion-dollar offers for AEW. However, he expressed no interest in taking the company public.
Khan discussed AEW's financial journey: "Last year, we grossed over $100 million. This year, we'll exceed that figure, especially with revenues from the AEW Fight Forever video game and other ventures like Wembley and the TNT show Collision." Khan's strategy has been clear – reinvesting a significant chunk of AEW's gross income.
"We've expanded our TV, pay-per-view, and merchandising offerings while simultaneously launching a video game," he remarked. As AEW nears its media rights renewal, this could be the key to achieving consistent weekly profits and increasing its business valuation further.