The professional wrestling industry continues to see significant moves in the television landscape, and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) remains at the forefront of these shifts. Recently, WWE has been actively engaged in negotiations to secure a new television rights deal for its flagship program, Monday Night RAW. Sources close to the situation have revealed that WWE is on the cusp of finalizing a deal that could redefine the program’s future.
In the past few months, WWE has successfully signed new television deals for two of its three major brands. SmackDown’s contract with USA Network was renewed last September, while NXT found a new home on The CW Network as of November. These agreements left RAW as the solitary brand awaiting a fresh deal, but this status may soon change.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter highlighted that WWE’s Chief Content Officer, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, was notably absent from this Monday’s edition of RAW. This absence was attributed to pivotal negotiations taking place in Los Angeles, where Levesque, alongside WWE CEO Nick Khan, was reportedly meeting with potential network partners.
The behind-the-scenes efforts by WWE’s top executives demonstrate their commitment to landing a lucrative deal. Initially, WWE aspired to broker a contract valued at approximately $400 million per year for RAW’s rights. However, current analyst projections are slightly lower, hovering around $387 million annually.
As for prospective networks in the running, Disney emerged early on as a prime candidate to host RAW on FX. Other major players such as Netflix, NBC & USA Network, Warner Brothers Discovery (WBD), and Amazon Prime have also been part of the conversation. Yet, despite this competitive landscape, Meltzer noted that WBD might not be a feasible suitor for RAW due to their association with All Elite Wrestling (AEW). Allegedly, WBD holds a minority ownership stake in AEW, which could pose conflicts of interest for WWE’s flagship show on a WBD-owned channel like TBS or TNT.
Regardless, the trajectory for WWE’s negotiations appears to be one of optimism. My sources, echoing Meltzer’s reports, suggest WWE is close to securing a deal that is “believed to be worth around $387 million per year.”
The renewal of RAW’s television rights is more than just a substantial revenue stream for WWE; it is also an opportunity to reposition the brand strategically on the television grid. Should a new deal materialize, it will surely have significant implications for WWE’s business, viewer reach, and the way fans engage with one of sports entertainment’s most storied programs.
As this story develops, further details are anticipated to surface regarding the specific terms of the agreement and the chosen network. Fans and industry analysts alike are watching closely, anticipating the outcomes of these crucial discussions. Stay tuned as we continue to provide insightful updates on this major development in the wrestling world.