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WWE shares take a beating as TV deal fails to impress


World Wrestling Entertainment lost almost half its market value in morning trade on Friday as its new TV deal with Comcast's NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a unit of NBCUniversal, failed to convince investors that the company was capable of winning more subscribers.

NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.

Shares of WWE, which produces "Monday Night Raw" and "Friday Night SmackDown," fell as much as 47 percent to $10.56.

The Undertaker, top, and Brock Lesnar wrestle during Wrestlemania XXX at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome in New Orleans on Sunday, April 6, 2014.

WWE said on Thursday that it had entered into a multi-year licensing partnership with NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment for its flagship shows.

"The company's valuation could take a heavy beating this morning, as the new domestic TV deal with NBC likely disappointed investors over limited visibility/ believability on the ultimate success of the network," Benchmark analyst Mike Hickey wrote in a note.

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The company shed $704.2 million of its market value on Friday.

WWE forecast a loss of between $45 million and $52 million for 2014.

Shares of the Stamford, Connecticut-based company closed at $19.93 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. (Click here for the latest quote.)

—By Reuters