WWE released their most recent financials yesterday. Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Nick Khan, and others spoke on an investors call to tout the successful quarter. Khan, the President & Chief Revenue Officer of WWE, talked about how he feels confident that big revenues are coming the company’s way in the near future.
In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reviewed the investor call. Khan said that he feels extremely bullish about upcoming streaming rights negotiations.
All of this is directly related to our next U.S. rights negotiations. We are as bullish now on those rights as we were when we went into the prior negotiations, which saw an increase in the U.S. from $130 million a year to $470 million a year for Raw and SmackDown.
The next big rights deal for WWE comes up at the end of 2022. Up for sale to the highest bidder will be second-day delivery of WWE live programming via streaming. Based on the timing, those negotiations would be taking place right now.
Khan used the English Premier League (soccer) as an example of the kind of deal he expects for WWE. He said that league will be doubling their United States rights fees and a bidding war exists between ESPN+, Peacock, and Amazon. Khan noted that Netflix is looking at adding a sports property, as well.
Khan stressed the value of live sports programming to content providers such as cable companies and streaming services. While he threw around some massive numbers, the WWE and EPL are two very different things. Time will tell if Khan winds up with egg on his face regarding his lofty predictions.
Do you think WWE’s next rights deals will be as profitable as their most recent ones? Let us know in the comments!