Update On WWE TV Rights Negotiations

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Nick Khan and Mark Shapiro have commented on the status of WWE’s media rights negotiations following the completion of the company’s sale to Endeavor.

Endeavor’s takeover of WWE was first announced the day after WrestleMania 39 by Vince McMahon and Endeavor CEO Ari Manuel. The deal means that WWE is now part of a new umbrella company – TKO Group Holdings – alongside UFC.

With the takeover now complete, attention is turning to the future of WWE under its new ownership, particularly with regards to the TV rights deals for the flagship shows, Raw and SmackDown. The current deals with USA Network and FOX will be up in 2024.

Where does the completion of the merger leave WWE’s media rights negotiations?

Endeavor President and CEO Mark Shapiro shed some light on the future of the shows during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. According to Shapiro, there have already been “encouraging conversations” with potential homes for the shows.

“We’re having very encouraging conversations with several players and platforms at the moment on WWE Raw and Smackdown.

“We’re cautiously optimistic, we’re, in many ways, being valued as a unicorn because we’re a year-round. WWE is a is a full calendar, sports and entertainment platform with significant engagement, strong reach and attractive demos.

“hat bodes well for these conversations and I believe that we’ll have results that are in line with market expectations.”

Meanwhile, WWE CEO Nick Khan told the Sports Business Journal that he expects to start pushing on negotiations as the football season begins.

“You’ve seen bidding wars between Comcast and Disney on things like the Fox assets, which ultimately went to Disney, and Sky, which ultimately went to Comcast.

“It does make one wonder how this might look down the road as both companies and as TKO enters into these negotiations.

“We think ratings, relevancy and revenue for both properties are off the charts, and, of course, we always want to grow that.”

Khan, who will remain in his position under the new regime, sent a message to employees of WWE to thank them for their “hard work and commitment” in achieving the milestone moment while promising to communicate any changes that will be felt in the company.