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Now that WWE is in with Endeavor, the next major negotiation for the company will be its media rights package for Raw and SmackDown. Those rights end in 2024, but negotiations will be ongoing throughout 2023.

Jim Miller, writer of oral history books about ESPN, Saturday Night Live, CAA, and HBO, appeared on Jimmy Traina’s SI Media podcast to discuss a variety of topics in sports media. One such tidbit that caught the ears of those in the pro wrestling world was his comments about Warner Bros. Discovery possibly getting in on WWE.

Miller might not be in-tune as much with the pro wrestling world, but he certainly has connections within the WBD side of things. And when asked by Traina if someone other than NBCUniversal or Fox going after WWE rights, Miller felt like Warner Bros. Discovery was in play.

“And I wouldn’t be surprised, despite the fact that money is such an issue for them, I wouldn’t be surprised if Warner Bros. Discovery wouldn’t like a slice of that WWE pie,” Miller said.”

Miller went even further, insinuating that for a show like Raw, which has been on Monday night almost every week since 1993, Miller said that it’s possible the show moves to a different night depending on the rightsholder.

“Monday night does not have to be on Monday night,” Miller said. “Monday night’s a tough night because if you go through the calendar all year round, there’s sports on Monday night. And you could, if you were Warner Bros. Discovery, you could say, ‘We’re gonna move it to a different night. We got Thursday night with the NBA or whatever but we’re gonna figure out a different night for it’ and all of a sudden, it becomes very attractive.”

This raises the question from many, “What happens to AEW?” As of 2023, TNT and TBS currently broadcast All Elite Wrestling and are adding more content. In addition to in-ring shows on Wednesday and Friday nights, there is a reality show and a potential two-hour Saturday show on the horizon. AEW is in the middle of a rights negotiation with WBD, but they’re very much intertwined with each other.

Miller said about AEW’s role and if this would be in addition to AEW or AEW being left out, “I don’t know, but I know that there are people that Warner Bros. who are interested (in WWE).”

At this time, I can’t see Raw or SmackDown going to a Warner Bros. Discovery network. Moving Raw from Monday night might be possible, but WWE is on the air 52 weeks out of the year, and they don’t like being pushed out of their time slot for something else. TNT airs the NBA mostly on Tuesday and Thursday while airing the NHL mostly on Tuesday and Wednesday. TBS has MLB, and all three sports displace AEW shows when they enter the playoffs. For example, Dynamite and Rampage will be affected by the NBA and NHL playoffs this week.

If Warner Bros. Discovery loses out on NBA rights, suddenly, there are openings to their schedule, and maybe WWE could fill that. But with AEW being more lenient on accommodating WBD on schedule changes and the amount of content that the company already puts out per week. In addition to the rights fee being much less for AEW than WWE, unless WBD loses a major sport and is willing to kick AEW to the curb, I can’t see them picking up WWE.

[Sports Illustrated]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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