During the MoffettNathanson’s Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference on Thursday, May 18, WWE CEO Nick Khan provided insights into the company’s thinking regarding the ongoing media rights negotiations with NBCU and Fox. Khan revealed that WWE is open to significant changes in their programming strategy.
Khan specifically mentioned WWE SmackDown, highlighting its flexibility in terms of scheduling. He pointed out that prior to its current arrangement with Fox, the blue brand show aired on different nights throughout its history. SmackDown initially debuted on USPN on Thursday nights in 1999 before moving to Friday nights in September 2005. It briefly returned to Thursdays in 2015 and shifted to Tuesday nights in 2016. Finally, it found its place on Friday nights when it moved to Fox in October 2019.
With this in mind, Khan emphasized that SmackDown has the potential to be scheduled on “any night of the week.” This flexibility makes it an attractive proposition for any channel seeking programming to fill a specific slot in their schedule.
While Khan didn’t disclose further details about the negotiation process, reports from F4W Online indicate that both NBCU and Fox are now beyond the “one month exclusive negotiating window.” This suggests that negotiations with other potential media partners may be taking place.
As WWE explores new opportunities and evaluates different options, it remains to be seen how the media rights landscape for WWE programming will evolve. Fans and industry insiders will be eagerly awaiting further updates on the negotiations and potential changes to WWE’s media partnerships.
Photo Credit: WWE