The current business relationship between WWE and Saudi Arabia has come under fire in the past week, following the disappearance and gruesome murder of Washington Post journalist and United States resident Jamal Khashoggi.
Several mainstream news outlets, as well as United States Senators, have called for WWE to cut ties with Saudi Arabia, or at the very least pause its business relationship with the country, given the current climate and potential foreign policy changes as it pertains to The United States and Saudi Arabia.
The most recent issue of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that the current deal between WWE and Saudi Arabia has been dissected, with the report noting the deal is worth around $450 million over the course of ten years. WWE is amidst its first year of the deal, having produced the Greatest Royal Rumble event in Jeddah back in April, and Crown Jewel is scheduled to take place on November 2nd in Riyadh.
The Observer report, via Eric Handler of MKM Partners and Deadline, adds that should WWE back out of its deal with Saudi Arabia, it would cost the company around $2 to $3 million in quarter four revenue this year. Should WWE back out of its deal with Saudi Arabia in 2019, it would cost the company an estimated $12 to $16 million in operating income. The report points out that for a company the size of WWE, losses of around $2-3 million would not be ideal, but would not be “game-changing” either.
As of this writing, Crown Jewel is expected to take place as scheduled, with tickets having gone on-sale in Riyadh earlier this week. While WWE has distanced itself slightly from Saudi Arabia following the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, as no mention of the country was made on Raw or Smackdown Live this week, there appear to be no plans for WWE to back out of either the planned November 2nd event or the overall deal with Saudi Arabia.