ESPN President Of Content Comments On How ESPN Views WWE Rights And Distribution

WWE distribution rights are up for renewal and various platforms and media companies are free to negotiate and make their offer.

WWE has deals with USA Network for WWE Raw and WWE NXT, a deal with FOX for WWE SmackDown, and a deal with Peacock for Premium Live Events.

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Speaking on the Sports Media Podcast with Richard Deitsch, ESPN President of Content Burke Magnus was asked if ESPN had any interest in WWE rights.

"From a glass-half-full perspective, I would say that I believe our companies...and this changed a couple of years ago, so this is not breaking news, but I believe our point of view towards WWE as a potential distribution outlet for their events, I think we passed that a long time ago and we're now in the bucket of 'if their rights are available and there is a deal for us that works and a deal for them that works with us, it's a possibility.' There is no hesitation anymore from a brand perspective or from a live event vs. scripted perspective. Their fans and our viewers, there is tremendous overlap. To me, it's about the business of it and is there something that works? To their credit, they run a 52-week-a-year business. I'm thinking, start from a linear perspective, 52 weeks a year is impossible for us to do in almost any configuration based on the other rights that we have. That actually cuts against us from a linear perspective. On the digital side, if we were to be in business with them on a streaming or direct-to-consumer distribution or pay-per-view distribution or other such thing, that's more easily achievable. They have a great product," said Burke.

When asked if he had talked with WWE, Burke said, "I'm not," with a laugh, indicating that he personally is not talking to WWE.

During the WWE earnings call on August 2, Nick Khan said he was optimistic regarding new rights deals.

You can find Khan's full comments by clicking here.

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