Shares of wrestling promoter WWE plunged more than 40% Friday as investors reacted to its latest earnings outlook and a new broadcast deal with NBCUniversal.
The company is trying to transform its business model from one that depended on pay-per-view shows to one that relies on broadcast deals as well as an online streaming venture, the WWE Network, which has a monthly subscription model.
On Thursday, it announced a deal with NBCU, a unit of Comcast (, which will carry the WWE programing on the USA and SyFy networks. )
But the revenue and earnings guidance it released immediately after announcing the deal greatly disappointed investors.
WWE ( said it will need between 1.3 million to 1.4 million subscribers for the new network to make up for the declines in its pay-per-view and on-demand business. It hopes to have 1 million streaming subscribers by the end of this year, but that would still produce a net loss of between $45 million to $52 million this year. )