WWE has a lot of things moving right now, and RAW and SmackDown might find new homes next year. That being said, there is a lot of money at play, and Peacock is also set to expire eventually as well, which could open up a lot of possibilities as to where the company airs their premium live events.
During the second quarter 2023 earnings call, WWE CEO Nick Khan made it clear that RAW and SmackDown media rights are not up until October 2024 and Peacock comes up in 2026. That being said, those talks are ongoing.
There is a lot of money at play right now. Nick Khan noted that one of the reasons why WWE is taking longer with this round of television talks is due to the fact that they started with a much higher asking price than before. The company is seeing a boom in popularity and viewership trends reflect that as well.
WWE executives were questioned about the timing misalignment between Peacock and the media rights deals. Specifically, whether they are open to a one-year extension to synchronize everything for simultaneous availability. In response, Nick Khan explained that the marketplace is not currently suggesting a one-year extension. He emphasized the ongoing communication with digital players, illustrating how they actively engage with all digital content partners regarding the content’s presence on Peacock.
WWE is deeply engaged in media rights talks for RAW and SmackDown. It’s anyone’s guess where WWE will land when those talks are finalized. Obviously, lot of factors are at play. WWE is also hoping to have their merger with the UFC completed by the second half of 2023.
WWE has already pulled in more money in sponsorship dollars in 2023 than they ever have as a company. That mindset that they are still open for business has obviously paid off in a big way.
It was also noted during that call that Vince McMahon has taken a medical leave of absence. This is due to his spinal surgery, and Nick Khan made it clear that they are going to respect his privacy.
What’s your take on WWE leaving USA Network and FOX? Will that change a lot about WWE? Sound off in the comments to let us know what you’re thinking!