WWE confirms that Crown Jewel will take place in Saudi Arabia

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/10/25/wwe-confirms-that-crown-jewel-will-take-place-in-saudi-arabia/

In the WWE’s third-quarter earnings report issued Thursday, the company confirmed it will go ahead with the Crown Jewel event next week in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The company included the following statement in their release:

WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base. Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for November 2 in Riyadh. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event. Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled.

We will have more on this story later today and news on the third quarter report and investors call.

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So basically, other US companies work with Saudi Arabia, why shouldn’t we ?

I don’t know, moral principles ?

But the problem with WWE and it’s show isn’t that they do business with the KSA (everyone does), but that WWE is explicitly running propaganda for the KSA.

Ha ha. " the heinous crime totally NOT ordered by MBS and sanctioned by the other mad Prince Kushner.

It will be interesting to see if the show is just a WWE Network special, or a propaganda advertisement for Saudia Arabia and the Kingdom. I would hope the propaganda would be turned down significantly, if not eliminated all together. I’m sure they will have to announce where the show is off the top, but hopefully that’s about it.

The propaganda is the deal. As we all saw with the Greatest Royal Rumble it wasn’t a wrestling show, but a propaganda show with some wrestling built around message.

I’d love to be proven wrong on this and they have a show without putting over the Crown Prince and the Saudis, but it’s highly unlikely.

As an optimist I’m hoping it isn’t a commercial for the Crown Prince and the Saudi Kingdom so I am reserving judgement, but sadly you are probably right.

I feel like somehow, the Crown Prince is trying to distance himself from the old guard that are currently in charge of the country. I might be wrong on this because i don’t know a lot about how Saudi politics or whow is in charge right now, but i think that he’s trying to distance himself from his father way’s of thinking and that’s why such deal like the one with WWE was made. I agree that WWE need to tone done the propanganda aspect of the show and i’m pretty sure the prince might agree to have it tone down just to be able to keep the deal in place but still, i’m glad that they decided to not be bullied into not going and will do the show anyway.

New dictators usually “distance themselves” from the past and present themselves as reformers.


The commentary you posted had a footnote, which I’ve copied below. They provided guidance that they are monitoring the situation and a change would have a material adverse impact to company results:

(4) The Company is continuing to monitor ongoing developments in the region, and there can be no assurances in this regard. If the event were to be cancelled, there could be a material adverse impact on 2018 Adjusted OIBDA guidance. While not anticipated, it is possible that a cancellation could also impact expected results beyond 2018

Having spent some time in the Investor Relations space, I can tell you that the Press Release / Earnings Release where this was stated would have been embargoed prior to the news this morning that the Saudi Gov’t now is saying the murder was premeditated. So revisions to what was in writing could not be changed. Will be curious what is said on the call taking place any minute.
The most recent news may be enough to flip the script here. I am somewhat surprised the contract does not have provisions in it for out-clauses as the region has long been a contentious area and suppose there was a war to break out - would the WWE be forced to honor the contract? Feels like premeditated murder might be enough to get out of a deal like this.

The call is taking place now, I plan on listening.

Available for an IR / Investment perspective later on. FWIW, I have spent time doing IR/public relations for publicly traded companies and now work int he investment industry. Hence my constant bringing up the stock in feedback, and my immense interest int he business side of WWE.

I would think there is some kind of language providing an “out clause” if WWE could reasonably and credibly claim a fear for the safety of their employees. Of course, how specific that language is and how well it would hold up under legal scrutiny are completely different matters than than the language simply existing in writing (if it does).

The Crown Prince was the one who ordered the torture and killing of Jamal Khashoggi, not to mention the overwhelming amount of human rights violations the Crown Prince is still compicit in.

They are paying purely for a propaganda show. If this is just a wrestling show, it’s no good to them. The whole point of the Vision 2030 initiative and the Davos in the Desert conference is to bring more businesses and tourists into Saudi Arabia. If there’s no propaganda, there’s no value.

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WWE deserves every ounce of criticism they get for this. They couldn’t be more in your face about portraying themselves as a do-good, philanthropic company. Hopefully we see them get hit financially for making this decision, but I highly doubt it. When Vince was on Smackdown last week, the crowd sang along with his song and marked for the dance break. The best thing that could happen in protest of this would be for people to stop going to live events, but it won’t happen. They’ve put their fans in the awkward position of feeling guilty about watching this card.

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So I listened to the earnings call (most of it at least). Yup, sounds like they are sticking to their commitment to do the show and Vince was very dismissive about discussing it from the portions I heard.

Stock down 2% mid-day; no real bad financial news reported, but perhaps nothing great either. Live events being down hurts, but Vince discusses that they know how to fix it…not sure what he is waiting for…

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Expected this, but it’s still a disappointment. I’d love for their to be some actual consequences for this but I just can’t see it happening. I won’t be watching, but I’ll be interested to hear whether they keep the same tone as the rumble.

Edited to say tone, not time!

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stock down 3%…I’m dying to know what idiot agreed to a contract that stipulates even if the host party commits murder and admits to it the deal must be honored. That to me is a big story - what the hell does that contract stipulate…Vince has to give up his first born grandson if they back out of the deal?

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WWE Could most likely back out but they would take a huge financial toll not getting paid for this show or most likely the 9 other years if GRR was 45 Million dollars the ten year deal might be a billion dollar contract with 2 shows a year. Not to Mention a planed HBK comeback be scrapped because only reason HBK doing it is he is getting paid millions so for them to go on and do it at SS vince have to pay HBK millions most likely screwing up his pay scale to all the other performers. Financially its a bigger hit to not do the show unless there is huge back lash and stock falls 25 percent or something. I Ask where is Mattel 2K. etc all these other Ad giants that have there fingers in WWE and screw around with WWE decisions and force them to do something or they will pull there advertising obviously none of them care morally about they Saudi murder involvement and see no probably with WWE running a show there.

Bell Vu PPV has the show listed on Friday November 02 12 pm to 5pm eastern.

so yes.

Ha! I meant to type tone, not time! Thanks

I Think it will be the same. there has to be a Prayer break Friday is there holy day of the week like Sunday is to Christian or Jewish is Saturdays. Plus I think they have to pray 4 or 5 times a day anyways. (Not that is what the issue is here.) But also the GSA PSA or Saudi Arabia PSA are most likely the contract obligation. Why they got in trouble for airing that multi branded ppv ad with girls in it as well. GSA Has a pretty detailed contract must do x y z etc to get this x amount of money. I Think the commentary will be toned down minimal mentions where they are other then bare minimum acknowledgements. I expect it to be exactly the same in every other way.