Reports have emerged this week that AEW partner Warner Bros. Discovery may be interested in bidding for WWE TV media rights, which would represent a major shift in the wrestling landscape.
James Andrew Miller, a former USA Network Executive Vice President of Original Programming and now best-selling author and journalist, said on Jimmy Traina’s SI Media podcast that he knows of people at WBD who are interested in working with WWE, adding that he wouldn’t be surprised if WBD went for the WWE media rights.
WBD currently airs AEW programming, and it’s believed that the relationship is good. However, WWE is the king of the industry, especially when it comes to outside media. If WBD were to acquire WWE media rights, it would mark a major shift in the balance of power within the industry.
“I think so. And I wouldn’t be surprised, despite the fact that money is such an issue for them, I wouldn’t be surprised if Warner Brothers Discovery wouldn’t like a slice of that WWE pie.”
In addition to the potential acquisition, Miller speculated on RAW possibly moving to a new night, as Monday nights are a tough night due to competition from other sports. He suggested that WBD could move the show to a different night to make it more attractive to advertisers.
“Monday Night does not have to be on Monday night. Monday night is a tough night, because if you go through the calendar all year round, there’s sports on Monday night. And you could, if you’re Warner Brothers Discovery, you could say, we’re gonna move it to a different night, we could have the NBA on Thursday night, but we’re gonna figure out a different night for it and all of a sudden it becomes very attractive.”
According to a recent report from PWInsider, many within WWE took notice of James Andrew Miller’s comments about Warner Bros. Discovery’s potential interest in acquiring WWE’s TV media rights. Some were skeptical of Miller’s claim and questioned whether there was any truth to it. As of this week, there has been no confirmation from WBD about their interest in WWE.
The current belief is that WBD’s deal with AEW runs through the end of this year, and there is speculation that it could continue through late 2024. As for WWE, their current TV deals with USA Network for RAW and FOX for SmackDown expire in 2024, with negotiations set to begin soon.
As we reported last week, WWE has been in discussions with ESPN about potential collaborations in the future. The recent acquisition of Endeavor and merger with UFC has led to a surge of interest in WWE among Hollywood circles, as well as increased interest in potential pro wrestling content elsewhere.
What would it mean for the wrestling industry if Warner Bros. Discovery were to acquire WWE’s TV media rights? Leave a comment.