Photo by Mario Escherle of Flickr via Wikimedia Commons
WWE distributing the final of four Rolling Stones 50th anniversary concerts this year as a live pay-per-view event entitled "One More Shot" is the first step of a plan to aggressively expand WWE into new entertainment fields started eighteen months ago that was slowed to a snail's pace by WWE stockholders' fears.
Eighteen long months ago, Vince McMahon decided that he wanted to re-brand World Wrestling Entertainment, replacing all references to that corporate sounding name with the shorthand of WWE, so no longer would wrestling be attached to his company's name. Far from just a cosmetic change, he had aspirations to aggressively overhaul WWE's whole business strategy to focus more on the E. In particular, McMahon wanted the key cornerstone of his brand expansion to be "the active pursuit to acquire entertainment content companies and the outsourcing of WWE's core competencies - television and film production, live event production and licensing".
But WWE's stockholders thwarted those plans by being spooked, likely due to Vince having such a poor track record outside his expertise of promoting professional wrestling. Indeed, the company's stock price tumbled by a staggering three dollars a share in the two months after McMahon made his big announcement. To prevent his net worth falling any further, progress slowed to a snail's pace on these projects and any moves have been much less ambitious.
They've managed to monetize social media and video on demand content by investing in Tout and entering into partnerships with YouTube, Twitter and Hulu Plus. However, the WWE Network still doesn't have a start date and they had been unable to find a partner that wanted to use their production know-how.
Well, until now that is. As the Hollywood Reporter publicized on Monday, WWE will team up Endemol and promoters Dainty Group to distribute the final of four Rolling Stones concerts this year as a live pay-per-view (PPV) event entitled "One More Shot." The gig in question will be held at the Prudential Center, in Newark, NJ, on Dec. 15th at 9pm ET, so expect a guest appearance on WWE Monday Night Raw in early December to plug WWE's first foray into musical PPV.
On the Rolling Stones website, Vince McMahon was unsurprisingly bullish about the opportunity: "WWE is ecstatic to bring The Rolling Stones into your living room, live on Pay-Per-View for "One More Shot," the last date of their 50th anniversary shows." It's not just one more shot for the aging Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood, but also McMahon too, as he's drinking at last chance saloon to become more than just a sleazy rasslin' promoter in the eyes of the general public.