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XFL 2020 Season

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20 minutes ago, Sodboy13 said:

Remember what I said about big businesses having to trim back to core operations? Vince McMahon's core operation suddenly finds itself in a very, very bad spot. I am going to attempt to show off my wafer-thin pro wrestling bona fides here by saying it's a Billy Gunn-level bad spot.

 

 

 

The interesting thing is that WWE's main competitor, All Elite Wrestling has been off for a week and will fill their Wednesday Nights on TNT with taped episodes (which began this past Wednesday) all the way until late May.  Impact Wrestling is taping 6-8 weeks of TV this weekend, also until late May

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12 hours ago, the admiral said:

No, they went plenty deep on the coronavirus. He's in the live event business and all the live events are gone. 


Yeah, but doesn’t that mean all the money set aside for the XFL wasn’t really set aside for the XFL?

 

And the WWE was still holding live events, last time I checked. So that means yes, while the WWE is losing ticket revenue right now with the performances behind closed doors, they’re still collecting all that television revenue. And when that stops, he can just lay off all those independent contractors.  It’s not like he pays for the wrestlers’ medical expenses, social security or even unemployment insurance.

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2 hours ago, Gothamite said:


Yeah, but doesn’t that mean all the money set aside for the XFL wasn’t really set aside for the XFL?

 

And the WWE was still holding live events, last time I checked. So that means yes, while the WWE is losing ticket revenue right now with the performances behind closed doors, they’re still collecting all that television revenue. And when that stops, he can just lay off all those independent contractors.  It’s not like he pays for the wrestlers’ medical expenses, social security or even unemployment insurance.

 

I think you're missing a key point.  They set aside money for the XFL.  Projected the expenses and revenues, figured out how much they were comfortable losing, and presumably had the cash on hand to support all that.  The problem likely was that the revenues weren't just less - they flat out stopped... but they had already paid for their air time, so they didn't get any of the expense back.  They looked at how much it would cost to keep the doors open, and realized that they'd be consuming a lot of the cash reserves, and probably not be able to cover the projected losses, especially since year 2 would be essentially year 1, and they'd have a whole extra unplanned year of losses. 

 

Isn't that reasonable?

 

I don't see any parallels between a sport like the XFL and a TV show like wrestling.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Gothamite said:


Yeah, but doesn’t that mean all the money set aside for the XFL wasn’t really set aside for the XFL?

 

And the WWE was still holding live events, last time I checked. So that means yes, while the WWE is losing ticket revenue right now with the performances behind closed doors, they’re still collecting all that television revenue. And when that stops, he can just lay off all those independent contractors.  It’s not like he pays for the wrestlers’ medical expenses, social security or even unemployment insurance.

 

The ones near the top of the food chain in WWE will be fine.  It's basically the lower card wrestlers that will be in trouble.    

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4 hours ago, Gothamite said:

And the WWE was still holding live events, last time I checked.

 

No they aren't. They're doing studio wrestling like the dying days of the AWA.

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11 hours ago, CaliforniaGlowin said:

So that's two failed leagues in two years.  Is corporate spring football officially dead?  There's the A7FL which is more like a rec league. 

I do wonder: would the XFL have made it past its first season even without a so-called act of God? There did seem to be a fair deal more respect to the second attempt. The games weren't treated as wrestling-like extravaganzas, there were articles written about the games and even my local news station would show highlights. I don't know how good the ratings really were, but much like the AAF, the on-field product did seem to be pretty good when all was said and done.

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All this sucks bad and might just be the beginning of some of the top teams/leagues going a similar route. 

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1 hour ago, jgiff17 said:

All this sucks bad and might just be the beginning of some of the top teams/leagues going a similar route. 

 I believe you are going to see more of this as time goes on. Teams who have been on life support are going to be lucky to survive. We could very well see contraction in the NHL and MLB. As for the NBA, I don't know, I don't follow it. 

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14 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

 

maybe it’s not that simple. 

It's VERY simple.  If the objective is to play football, just put the team on the damn field!  Don't worry about production or TV contracts.  All these leagues care about is money and return on investment.  Minor league football should have minor league production, D2 college level at max.  These leagues will never be like the NFL, so stop trying to present it and act like it will be.

Stop using NFL stadiums when they will be half full at max.  Again, these leagues will NEVER be at that level.

What's more important: having a modest sustaining league for years, or throwing hundreds of millions of dollars into a league that will collapse mid-season?  I say it every time a new league starts: LEARN FROM THE FREAKIN PAST!!!

 

 

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1 hour ago, CaliforniaGlowin said:

It's VERY simple.  If the objective is to play football, just put the team on the damn field!  Don't worry about production or TV contracts.  All these leagues care about is money and return on investment.  Minor league football should have minor league production, D2 college level at max.  These leagues will never be like the NFL, so stop trying to present it and act like it will be.

Stop using NFL stadiums when they will be half full at max.  Again, these leagues will NEVER be at that level.

What's more important: having a modest sustaining league for years, or throwing hundreds of millions of dollars into a league that will collapse mid-season?  I say it every time a new league starts: LEARN FROM THE FREAKIN PAST!!!

 

Maybe the leagues should hire you as a business consultant.  What are they thinking?

 

The objective isn't to play football.  It's, as you stated, to make money.  Which is fine - that's why it's called pro sports.  I don't know how many people would go out of their way to watch a football game on youtube that looks like a glorified high school game.  It's minor league - nobody has ever debated that (well, I think there was one dummy) - but I'm not sure how you start a football league with a "modest" budget.  I have to imagine that the startup costs for football are more than any other sports, even if just because the rosters are so much bigger than anything else.  Nobody is going to go out of their way to go on You Tube and watch a glorified high-school production on their laptop or iPad.  The only way to get interest and eventually make money is to be on cable or a network.

 

Their production quality also lead to the replay discussion thing, and other innovations like the audible play calling and the kickoff rule, which got them a lot of interest.  The stadium thing was certainly not the best move.  I get that they wanted to appear major league, but yeah that's an area where they could have saved a few dollars.

 

"What's more important: having a modest sustaining league for years, or throwing hundreds of millions of dollars into a league that will collapse mid-season?  

 

There's zero indication that the league would have collapsed mid season if not for an unexpected, unprecedented worldwide pandemic that has also caused other seemingly healthy businesses to shut the doors, left millions jobless, and thousands dead.  I think they get a pass on that.   

 

If it comes out at some point that they weren't going to make it to year 2 regardless, then that's a different story.  With the information we have now, I don't think there's any grounds to criticize how the XFL went about things this time around.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, the admiral said:

No they aren't. They're doing studio wrestling like the dying days of the AWA.


Ah, I misunderstood.  I thought I read that they were doing a certain number of live shows to satisfy the television contract.  I gladly stand corrected. 

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8 minutes ago, Gothamite said:


Ah, I misunderstood.  I thought I read that they were doing a certain number of live shows to satisfy the television contract.  I gladly stand corrected. 

 

You're not totally mistaken.  I think they are trying to figure out how to do it live, and partially because of the contract thing.  It's been taped for a little while, including the Wrestlemania event, which has allowed them to limit the amount of talent that has to be in the building at any one time since they can film a match, then get the performers out of the building, and then bring in the next group.

 

I don't know how or where they can do it live.  I don't think they should be allowed to do it live.  While it's not nearly as bad as UFC since it's a more controlled performance that doesn't really put a strain on local healthcare like an actual fight that requires ringside doctors and medics does, it's definitely not "essential" by any stretch of the word, and there's plenty of other non-ideal ways they can put on a show without being socially irresponsible.

 

 

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7 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

I think you're missing a key point.  They set aside money for the XFL.  Projected the expenses and revenues, figured out how much they were comfortable losing, and presumably had the cash on hand to support all that.  The problem likely was that the revenues weren't just less - they flat out stopped... but they had already paid for their air time, so they didn't get any of the expense back.  They looked at how much it would cost to keep the doors open, and realized that they'd be consuming a lot of the cash reserves, and probably not be able to cover the projected losses, especially since year 2 would be essentially year 1, and they'd have a whole extra unplanned year of losses. 

 

Isn't that reasonable?

 

I get that they will have additional losses this year.  I’m just saying that $270 million ought to cover many years’ worth of losses.  Weren’t we saying that McMahon would shrug off losses after losses, and that he had enough mad money to keep going as long as he wanted?

 

Pulling the plug this early indicates that something else was very wrong, and coronavirus will end up as a scapegoat to paper over those other problems.  And that the “dedicated” XFL money wasn’t actually dedicated XFL money.

 

7 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:I don't see any parallels between a sport like the XFL and a TV show like wrestling.


I wasn’t trying to draw a parallel.  Just saying that the WWE is still holding events, and still has television revenue coming in.

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Yea I know it's not their fault the season ended, but the fact that there's a question they will be back next year says it might not be as successful as it looked.

 

" Nobody is going to go out of their way to go on You Tube and watch a glorified high-school production on their laptop or iPad.  "

1. Youtube has been on smart TV's for years. 

2. The IFL has been doing it for TEN YEARS.  Yea it's a niche sport and teams come and go, but they ain't folding.

3. The A7FL has been going for 5 years and has gotten streaming partners in the last couple of years.

 

I'm not an expert in this by far, but history proves my point.  Leagues that want to go big crash and burn, while these and other arena leagues continue year after year.  The big exception to all of this is the Big3 basketball league, which has star power behind it, and is unique enough to not be a wannabe NBA. 

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Some diehard XFL fans think that the XFL will be back in 2022, which I find hard to believe.  

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8 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

I get that they will have additional losses this year.  I’m just saying that $270 million ought to cover many years’ worth of losses.  Weren’t we saying that McMahon would shrug off losses after losses, and that he had enough mad money to keep going as long as he wanted?

 

Pulling the plug this early indicates that something else was very wrong, and coronavirus will end up as a scapegoat to paper over those other problems.  And that the “dedicated” XFL money wasn’t actually dedicated XFL money.

 


I wasn’t trying to draw a parallel.  Just saying that the WWE is still holding events, and still has television revenue coming in.

Imagine you go on a trip somewhere for a month. You want to rent a car for the whole time. You have the money to afford it. 

 

You get there, rent the car for the month and three days later you're in the hospital with a broken spine. Sure. You had the money to fund the expense for 30 days.... But without any use of that expense for the 27 remaining days wouldn't you just turn it in and wash your hands of the expense? After all.... You might just need that money for more pressing issues later on.

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1 hour ago, GDAWG said:

Some diehard XFL fans think that the XFL will be back in 2022, which I find hard to believe.  

I say this as someone who enjoyed both the AAF and the XFL for what they were...

 

The CFL wins again.

 

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6 hours ago, Sykotyk said:

Imagine you go on a trip somewhere for a month. You want to rent a car for the whole time. You have the money to afford it. 

 

You get there, rent the car for the month and three days later you're in the hospital with a broken spine. Sure. You had the money to fund the expense for 30 days.... But without any use of that expense for the 27 remaining days wouldn't you just turn it in and wash your hands of the expense? After all.... You might just need that money for more pressing issues later on.


And if Vince is only giving up on 2020, that would be an excellent example.  But if It’s true that he’s also giving up on 2021, the example starts to fall apart.
 

Look, we all knew that Vince was going to lose millions of dollars a year on this venture.  Maybe tens of millions of dollars a year.  That was a given.  We knew it, he knew it.  Which is why he cashed in a not-inconsiderable amount of personal stock in the WWE, so he would have hundreds of millions of dollars on hand to fund those many years of losses.
 

Not to worry, said his defenders.  Even if this is just a vanity project Vince has $272 million worth of mad money to blow on it.  He’s above the whims of the marketplace.  He can let it play out without worrying about cash.  It’s like that scene in Citizen Kane where Kane is told that his pet project, a newspaper, is losing a staggering million dollars a year. Kane smiles and says “Well, at that rate, we'll have to close this place... in sixty years.”
 

Of course Vince took a huge bath on this year.  He was always going to take a huge bath this year.   But while he’s losing out on the revenues from the second half of the season, he’s also been able to cut a big chunk of the expenses from that half of the season too.

 

I mean, that $270M was money that was set aside.  It wasn’t money from his personal bank account; he’s a billionaire.  It wasn’t money from the WWE, where he was accountable to stockholders. And it was his personal holdings, so it’s not like he can put it back into the WWE’s operating budget to cover shortfalls.

 

Giving up on 2021, if true, would send a message. Tells us there was something more than just they couldn’t finish the second half of the season. It tells us they don’t have a sustainable plan to bring it back even after the coronavirus is out of the picture. Tells us he doesn’t even want to try anymore, which is probably more shocking. And Covid-19 becomes a convenient scapegoat everyone can point to. 

 

So how bad does it have to be for him to go from “I can afford to lose the GDP of a small nation to keep this thing I love going” to “Nope. Peace out!”

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Pulling the plug on the XFL is probably the most prudent financial decision for McMahon. If his core business, WWE, is running into financial issues, i.e. stock prices falling down, he can probably use whatever money that was earmarked for the XFL and use it to buy back WWE stock that he sold. If revenues and stock price rebounds, then Vince can minimize his "losses" or even be better off in the long-term. 

 

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Starting a football league was never a prudent financial decision, though.  It was always going to be a lose-a-lot-of-money-for-many-years financial decision.
 

If he’s buying back WWE stock, that’s not to help the WWE. That’s to help himself.


Something changed for him, and not just Covid-19.  I wonder if we’ll ever know what that was. Maybe Luck will give an interview or pen a tell-all, because McMahon ever will. 

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