WWE is in the midst of one of its most successful years in company history, in terms of revenue and profitability. They continue to push into new markets and investigate new platforms. They’ve not only set the bar for over-the-top subscription services, they’ve pretty much lapped the field (if you’re talking about niche platforms instead of broad media empires like Netflix and Hulu). The company has come a very long way since the days of gambling on enterprises like Tout.
While WWE’s deal with NBC Universal to broadcast Raw and Smackdown Live runs through September 2019, there’s absolutely nothing stopping them from creating additional programming for other outlets or networks. And other networks appear to be interested enough to at least meet with the company to discuss options.
Yes, this could potentially mean more WWE programming to watch from week to week. Because there isn’t enough right now.
The Sports Business Journal reports that over the summer, WWE held meetings with Fox, Disney, CBS, Amazon and YouTube. In the case of Fox Sports, their contract with UFC ends soon, and they reportedly view WWE as “acceptable replacement programming” for UFC, should the MMA giant choose to take its business elsewhere.
There’s no danger of Raw and Smackdown moving networks, but WWE could pop up in other forms and in other places. While it’s extremely unlikely given how the company tends to operate, this could be a great opportunity to try some other things and experiment a bit more. Either way, it’s very interesting that so many networks are thinking about testing the waters when it comes to WWE, and could bode very well for the next time WWE needs to shop around for a new television contract.