TKO Group Holdings suffered net loss of $249.5 million in 2024 first quarter largely due to UFC antitrust settlement

Settling a pair of antitrust lawsuits against the UFC led to a net loss for TKO Group Holdings in the first quarter of 2024, although by all accounts the company expects to bounce back rather quickly for the remainder of the year.

In a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, TKO reported a net loss of $249.5 million for the quarter largely due to a $335 million settlement reached to end a pair of antitrust lawsuits.

While the settlement still has to be approved by the courts, TKO anticipates a $335 million payment to satisfy both lawsuits, with plans to make three separate payments to the plaintiffs involved in the case. TKO expects to make two payments totaling $200 million in 2024, and then another $135 million in 2025.

Despite the settlement resulting in a net loss for the quarter, TKO still smashed expectations from Wall Street as far as revenue and continued growth for the quarter. Overall, UFC’s revenue increased by two percent year over year, with $313 million earned in the first quarter 2024 versus $306.7 million in 2023.

“TKO is off to a strong start in 2024 with multiple record-setting live events, new brand partnerships, and media rights deals for WWE Raw,” TKO CEO Ari Emanuel said in a press release. “With our momentum in the first quarter and solid financial results, we have raised our full year 2024 guidance.

“We also reached an agreement to settle all claims asserted in both UFC antitrust lawsuits. These positive developments, along with the strength in our underlying businesses, give us more conviction than ever in the combination of UFC and WWE, and in TKO’s ability to deliver sustainable long-term value for shareholders.”

The increase in revenue at UFC was primarily driven by sponsorships and live events, with a decrease in revenue from media rights due to one less event being held during the quarter versus the same time in 2023.

At WWE, revenue was up six percent to $316.7 million for the quarter. TKO also announced that WWE reached an agreement with NBCUniversal for its flagship show Monday Night Raw to remain on the USA Network for the reminder of 2024 for $25 million, before moving the show to Netflix starting in 2025.

Netflix paid $5 billion over 10 years to secure the rights to Raw starting in 2025.

TKO also highlighted UFC’s success through more live events in the first quarter, along with touting UFC 300 as “one of the most successful and highest-grossing events in UFC history.”

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