PWTorch has learned that FloSports has filed a lawsuit against WWN, which is the parent company of EVOLVE, FIP, Style Battle, Shine, and ACW. The lawsuit was filed on Sept. 15 in Travis County, Texas. PWTorch has obtained a copy of the lawsuit, which states that WWN misrepresented financial data from the events it was putting on in terms of iPPV and VOD buys. As a result of the misrepresentation of data, FloSlam claims they were induced into paying WWN hundreds of thousands of dollars.
You can view a PDF of the lawsuit here: D-1-GN-17-005152 PETITION
FloSports contends in the lawsuit filed that when they asked WWN for spreadsheets to back up their claims on their iPPV and VOD buyrates, that they were told that the data was lost. WWN eventually sent FloSlam the data requested, but FloSlam contends in the lawsuit that was filed that subscribers were listed more than once and DVD purchasers were included, which should not have been factored in with iPPV and VOD purchases.
In the lawsuit filed in Travis County, Tex., Floslam is seeking damages of 1 million dollars from WWN. The causes of action are listed as breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation.
PWTorch reached out to FloSports SVP and General Counsel Paul Hurdlow prior to obtaining a copy of the lawsuit. Hurdlow said that FloSports’s position would be made clear in the lawsuit. Hudlow did tell PWTorch that the hope from FloSports perspective is that lawyers from both sides can continue to work together and reach an agreement out of court. PWTorch tried to follow up with Hurdlow again and was referred to FloSport’s PR agency for further comment
WWN owner Sal Hamaoui was contacted by PWTorch for comment on the lawsuit, but he had no comment at the time and told PWTorch to contact his lawyer, Sam Heller for further comment on FloSlam’s lawsuit against WWN. At this time, Heller does not have an official statement on behalf of WWN, but this story will be updated once an official statement is made.
PWTorch reached out to multiple WWN sources for comment on the story. One source noted that WWN says the lawsuit is seen as a scare tactic from FloSports to get out of a legally binding contract. The source noted that WWN is planning on counter suing on multiple accounts. Another source told PWTorch that WWN is currently in negotiations to end their current agreement with FloSports early.
Radican’s Analysis: It’s going to be interesting to see how this lawsuit plays out over the next several months. It will definitely be an awkward weekend when FloSlam and WWN personel come together for the EVOLVE iPPVs this weekend. I can see why FloSports would be upset if their subscriptions numbers didn’t correlate with the numbers WWN gave them for their VODs and iPPVs before they entered into an agreement, but in my mind it’s not a perfect comparison when you compare one live buy to one FloSlam subscription.
FloSlam hasn’t done a good job of promoting EVOLVE or any of their other featured indies since Jeremy Botter was fired late last year. Both sides haven’t seemed happy with their arrangement for a long time, but this lawsuit is a surprise.
FloSports’s seemed to want to settle this matter out of court and continue to work together based on my conversation with Hurdlow on the phone earlier today. On the other hand at this point, WWN sources seemed more contentious today and are planning on counter suing FloSports and are currently working on reaching an agreement to get out of their long-term deal with FloSlam.
There’s a lot more to this story that hasn’t come out yet. EVOLVE was a hot brand when they signed with FloSports, but since that time, it has become clear that the relationship between WWN and WWE has cooled off, as WWE no longer promotes them on social media or their website. Other factors have played into EVOLVE cooling off as well, but promotions like Progress and ICW are clearly benefiting from WWE at this time via talent sharing and promotional benefits as well. This story will be updated as it develops.