WWE Talking To Major Cable TV Network About Future Programming
There are discussions between WWE a major US cable television network although it’s not necessarily for in-ring action, according to a new report.
When it comes to on-air programming, WWE is a company that is always going to entertain ideas and be willing to try different things.
After Endeavor announced that they had acquired World Wrestling Entertainment with the intent to create a powerful company with UFC (which Endeavor owns), it has led to speculation about what is next for the wrestling and MMA giants.
It was previously reported a few days ago by PWInsider that WWE was talking to TV networks about different kinds of programming.
In an update on that story, PWInsider Elite (available via subscription) reports that there have been “renewed discussions” between WWE and ESPN about working together on new projects.
The report from Mike Johnson notes that while the discussions are not about a weekly series (like Raw, Smackdown or NXT), they are talking about projects to work on with Johnson specifically noting that it’s early in their conversations. ESPN, just like Network TV giant ABC, is owned by Disney.
During the pandemic era in 2020 when ESPN wasn’t able to show live sports due to games being canceled, they broadcasted multiple older WWE WrestleMania events. ESPN also often times sends reporters to cover major events such as when Daniel Cormier interviewed many top WWE stars during WrestleMania weekend.
In addition to WWE, PWInsider mentioned that ESPN was talking to another wrestling as well while noting it was not AEW. They did not name what promotion it is, but since WWE is the industry leader in pro wrestling, it may put a halt to those talks.
The television rights fees for Raw & Smackdown coming up in October 2014 and negotiations are likely to start soon for new deals. That means World Wrestling Entertainment will want to get its brand in as many potential places as it can. That’s why a deal with ESPN makes sense
There is already a working relationship with Endeavor and ESPN since UFC programming appears on ESPN regularly and PPV events air on ESPN + as well. Whether that leads to some sort of WWE-ESPN deal remains to be seen.