A coded message sent by WWE to FOX

by   |  VIEW 2006

A coded message sent by WWE to FOX

With the recent agreement between WWE and Peacock for the streaming of WWE content, a season of speculation has perhaps begun on how the Stamford company intends to continue its policy of selling television rights over the years.

In a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, the Managing Editor of Wrestling Inc. Nick Hausman met Wrestlenomics business analyst Brandon Thurston, whom we interviewed a few months ago on a special episode of SideTalk Slam, to help analyze the financial results for the first quarter of 2021.

"It was really a Nick Khan podcast," Thurston said. “Vince [McMahon] spoke for 60 seconds and then no more. He didn't participate in the Q&A, which is what happened last time too. He had an opening statement.

I think he had a longer opening statement. He always has an opening statement, but he did not attend the question and answer session with stock market analysts for the second consecutive time. Here, however, it is almost only Nick Khan who gives his thoughts on the state of the media industry [and] on the most recent stories like NBC and the NHL that will no longer work together.

"But I think the most important thing is the hype he added to the idea that Amazon and Apple could bid for live sports rights. So I read it as a coded message to FOX. 'We will resell SmackDown aggressively when the deal is renegotiated.

It will likely begin to be renegotiated at the end of 2022, and if previous negotiation rounds are any indication, they will announce the deal perhaps in the spring of 2023. So it looks like Nick Khan is saying, 'We will be genuinely interested in negotiating and trying to get the best possible value for SmackDown.

“I think RAW stays with NBCUniversal only in terms of how deep the relationship between WWE and NBCUniversal is with RAW, NXT [and] reality programming. But I think there's a good chance WWE will try to "sell" SmackDown, which maybe goes to FOX, but maybe goes to Amazon or Apple, which are some of the biggest companies in the world and can certainly afford to pay a lot of money.

if they are looking to further invest in their streaming services (Prime and Apple TV) to move forward in this competitive streaming space."

FOX and WWE have a fine deal

FOX and WWE have a fine deal that has the SmackDown brand locked onto their network for a considerable amount of time.

The season could be coming to shop around and see what other interest there is out there. WWE Deal - Peacock has many experts speculating that NBCUniversal may soon buy WWE as it would be cheaper than just renting WWE content.

Thurston noted the key factor that would prevent this from happening. "I think it all comes down to Vince McMahon being alive," Thurston noted. “I think this company will never be sold in Vince McMahon's lifetime.

As long as he works and is the CEO of the company, which I think he will be as long as he is healthy enough to do it, he will never sell the company because this is his life and his livelihood, and this is his daily life.

And Nick Khan, I thought, really stated that idea in his interview he did on the Colin Cowherd podcast where he basically said he doesn't think Vince will sell the company. I'm sure it must be something the new president and Vince discussed.

So I don't think that's going to happen, but I think it makes more and more sense for NBCUniversal to acquire WWE. Why keep renting content like RAW for hundreds of millions of dollars a year when you could own it and still enjoy WWE value.

I think there are still many ways yet to be realized in terms of how WWE's intellectual property could be used for the benefit of NBCUniversal. There is probably a way WWE could be integrated into Universal Studios or something, for example.

example. So I think it makes more and more sense considering they own RAW, own NXT and reality TV, which is also important, but now, of course, Peacock owns the rights to the WWE network content."