Nick Khan Provides Update On WWE TV Rights Negotiations

Nick Khan is optimistic with WWE media rights negotiations.

WWE is currently searching for new deals for WWE Raw and WWE SmackDown as their rights deals with USA Net and Fox, respectively, end in 2024. The exclusive window for those platforms has closed, meaning WWE can negotiate with any platform or network.

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Speaking on the WWE earnings call, Khan was asked about the rights deals and why this round of negotiations is taking longer than the last round.

"Last time, having been across that negotiation, the starting prices of where we were for Raw and SmackDown were far far less than the starting prices now, which means deeper and longer conversations. All of those conversations have been productive. We remain quite optimistic on it in terms of time. I've often said in negotiations, you can control a lot of the process, you can never control the timing of the negotiation. We feel we're there in full force with a robust product that seems to have quite high ratings and relevancy at this moment. We think the results will be what we expect and hope they will be," he said.

WWE signed five-year media rights deals with Fox and USA Network (NBCUniversal) in 2019. The five-year deals are worth $2.35 billion in total.

When asked about potential OTT partners, Khan said, "The OTT buyers seem quite interested in not only Raw, not only SmackDown, but NXT, as do the more traditional buyers. We think it's a very strong landscape for products that register."

WWE premium live events and archived content is currently part of Peacock.

When asked if WWE would take a shorter deal on media rights to align with the end of their deal with Peacock, Khan said, "I don't see a one year extension being the outcome for us. I don't think that's what the marketplace is suggesting. Also, keep in mind what you already know, our content drives subscription behavior, not just viewership. It's a 12 month return. Of course the digital players are going to be there, they see the results from Peacock with 20 live events or so per year with WWE and NXT premium live events. No, I don't see an extension like that in our future. Yes, we're talking to all the digital content partners who I think see the power in what we can do."

Fightful will continue to update fans on WWE media rights negotiations when more is known.

Fans can learn more about WWE earnings in the second quarter of 2023 by clicking here.

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