WWE’s media rights deals with Fox and NBC, worth a combined $470 million per year, end in 2024. The company also has a second deal with NBC that moved WWE Network to Peacock worth $200 million per year, which expires in 2026.
With the two primary deals coming to an end next year, WWE is looking at new media rights deals and in a feature by the Sports Business Journal, CEO Nick Khan says talks about re-upping with Fox and NBC are expected in “the middle of the year.”
As for the next media rights talks, Khan said: “We look to get into the heat of the conversation first with our incumbents by the middle of the year or so. Depending on the timing and how strategic alternatives shake out, it will be either be middle of the year getting hot and heavy, or some time shortly thereafter.”
Khan also noted that WWE purposefully wanted its current media rights deals to not be up at the same time as the NFL was heading to the open market in order to not compete with the sports behemoth.
Despite not competing with the NFL for media rights dollars this time around, WWE will still be in the market at the same time as NASCAR and the NBA, among other sports. Khan believes “there’s plenty of money” for WWE on the market.
Still, WWE finds itself in the market at the same time major sports properties, including the NBA and NASCAR, are seeking new deals of their own. Regardless, Khan is confident of what WWE will be able to accomplish: “We believe there’s plenty of money out there for us.”
WWE as a company is also for sale, with media companies possibly interested in buying the company. Khan noted that “the rights that Fox and NBCU negotiated for separately will obviously have to be adhered to and respected with all sorts of good faith attached to that,” which essentially means that a media company won’t be able to absorb WWE programming until current rights deals end. That’s not a surprise, and I doubt it will have much of an impact on any possible interest in WWE from media entities.