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News > Deals
Time Warner sells WCW
January 11, 2001: 2:45 p.m. ET

World Championship Wrestling sold to venture capital firm for undisclosed sum
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Fusient Media Ventures agreed Thursday to acquire World Championship Wrestling from Turner Broadcasting System Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

TBS will retain a minority interest in WCW as well as long-term programming rights. Fusient will take over day-to-day operations of WCW and Brian Bedol, founder of Classic Sports Network, will serve as CEO. Eric Bischoff, the former head of WCW, will return as president.

No other financial terms were disclosed.

graphicBedol, along with Stephen Greenberg, created the Classic Sports Network which was later sold to ESPN. Bedol and Greenberg later started New York-based Fusient Media Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in media properties.

Sale of the wrestling unit comes as Time Warner Inc. is preparing for its merger with America Online Inc. (AOL: Research, Estimates). The Federal Communications Commission is expected to approve the $103 billion merger soon.

Atlanta-based World Championship Wrestling produces live wrestling shows and competes against World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. (WWF: Research, Estimates). The WCW franchise includes popular cable television show WCW Monday Nitro Live and WCW Worldwide, which is seen in syndication in 94 percent of the United States.

WCW, once one of the more popular TV wrestling brands, is now losing money. Analysts estimate that last year the wrestling franchise lost about $80 million.

graphicWCW is a unit of Turner Broadcasting System, which is owned by Time Warner Inc. CNNfn.com also is a unit of Time Warner (TWX: Research, Estimates).

Time Warner shares gained $3 to $70, the WWF rose 31 cents to $17.75,  and AOL jumped $1.79 to $46.68 in afternoon trading Thursday.

-- from staff and wire reports graphic

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.