BY Barry Petchesky – OCT 25, 2018
For weeks, WWE had only said it was “monitoring the situation” in Saudi Arabia ahead of its scheduled event in Riyadh on November 2. The “situation,” of course, is the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, on top of the kingdom’s plethora of human-rights violations, including but definitely not limited to its conduct in the war in Yemen. I guess they’re done monitoring.
In WWE’s Q3 earnings release this morning, there is what will apparently stand as the company’s official statement on Crown Jewel, as next week’s show is called.
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.
In other words, the Saudis are paying a shit-ton of money to host this show, and it’d be bad business to turn it down. (The WWE is in the first year of a 10-year deal with the kingdom, which kicked off with April’s Greatest Royal Rumble event in Jeddah. The details of the contract aren’t public, but reports are that WWE is paid as much as $50 million per show.) … Read the Full Story HERE