The WWE-UFC Merger has sparked speculation about the future of WWE's TV rights, and post-merger, WWE is taking steps to diversify its TV presence. According to PWInsider Elite, the wrestling company is in renewed talks with ESPN to collaborate on new projects, though not necessarily a weekly TV series.
This isn't the first collaboration between the two companies. ESPN was airing classic WWE content in 2020; the relationship ended after WWE's deal to migrate its network content to Peacock in 2021. Speculation at the time suggested that NBCUniversal was a probable candidate for an eventual sale of WWE, given the large portion of WWE's content on various NBCU platforms.
WWE's Openness to New TV Deals
With WWE's TV rights with NBCU and FOX up next year, the company is open to all conversations on new TV deals, except for exclusive TV rights for WWE shows, which would require a lofty sum.
WWE may be looking to diversify its TV presence, and the talks with ESPN suggest that they are also open to working with other broadcasters. Interestingly, the report also revealed that another wrestling promotion was in talks with ESPN.
Although AEW recently signed a deal with ESPN to air their programming in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, they are not the promotion in question. It's unclear which advertisement was in talks with ESPN, but the fact that WWE is back in discussions suggests that those talks are now in jeopardy.
The talks with ESPN could lead to exciting new projects for WWE, as the network is known for its extensive sports coverage and could offer the wrestling company more opportunities to reach new audiences. It remains to be seen what kind of collaboration will come out of these talks, but the fact that WWE is looking to expand its TV presence bodes well for the company's future. Fans will undoubtedly keep a close eye on further developments in this story.