It was announced yesterday that WWE would be taking control of third-party appearances from their stars, starting in 30 days.
This includes the likes of YouTube, Cameo and Twitch. However, WWE have today put a statement out clarifying the reasons why they are doing this.
The statement compares the company to the likes of Disney and Warner Bros, where they invest in the intellectual property of their talent.
Much like Disney and Warner Bros., WWE creates, promotes and invests in its intellectual property, i.e. the stage names of performers like The Fiend Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Big E and Braun Strowman. It is the control and exploitation of these characters that allows WWE to drive revenue, which in turn enables the company to compensate performers at the highest levels in the sports entertainment industry. Notwithstanding the contractual language, it is imperative for the success of our company to protect our greatest assets and establish partnerships with third parties on a companywide basis, rather than at the individual level, which as a result will provide more value for all involved.
Claiming that WWE taking charge of these appearances will be very controversial, considering the fact that their competitors are considered as independent contractors.
A lot has happened in the last 24 hours on this issue, and it seems like it could run for a long time to come – most likely beyond when the talent have been asked to cease using these services.