The media rights deals for both AEW and WWE have been a talking point in recent months, with both companies hoping to secure a major increase to their rights deals.
WWE has held several collaborations with ESPN in recent months, including Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman appearing on First Take ahead of SummerSlam in Detroit.
Speaking on Sports Media with Richard Deitsch, ESPN’s President of Content Burke Magnus spoke about the idea of ESPN potentially securing WWE’s rights.
“It wouldn’t be a pod with you without a WWE question so I do appreciate that. By the way, I’m overdue, I’m overdue to go to an event. I haven’t been in a little while but… yes, yes (he jokingly responded when it was mentioned that Nick Khan could get him tickets). I think it continues to be — I guess from a glass half-full perspective, I’d say I believe our companies — and this changed a couple of years ago so this is not breaking news but I believe our point of view towards WWE as a potential distribution outlet for their events, I think we passed that a long time ago and I think we’re now in the bucket of, hey, if their rights are available and there’s a deal for us that works and a deal for them that works with us, I think it’s certainly a possibility. There’s no hesitation anymore from a brand perspective or from a live event versus scripted.
“Their fans and our viewers, there’s tremendous overlap so, to me, it’s just about the business of it and is there something that works. I may have said this to you last time we talked but, to their credit, they run a 52-week-a-year business, right?… And I’m thinking, well, let me start from the linear perspective. 52 weeks a year is impossible for us to do on almost any configuration based on the other rights that we have. So that actually cuts against us from a linear perspective but on the digital side, if we were to be in business with them on a streaming or direct-to-consumer or distribution or a pay-per-view distribution or other such thing, I think that’s more easily achievable and they have a great product… Well I’m not (talking to WWE). So, I’ll just leave it at that.”
WWE currently airs Raw and NXT on the USA Network, with premium live events on Peacock and SmackDown being held on FOX.
transcription via POST Wrestling
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