Ari Emanuel and Mark Shapiro are, respectively, the CEO and President & COO for each Endeavor and TKO Group Holdings, the brand new publicly traded company which homes each WWE and UFC. As such, there’s no scarcity of things on their collective “to do” checklist. However excessive up on it’s securing new media rights contracts for Uncooked and SmackDown.
WWE’s Vince McMahon, Nick Khan & others have been already engaged on touchdown new offers for the 2 exhibits (and NXT), and can presumably nonetheless be concerned within the course of. However the enterprise & leisure press had entry to Emanuel & Shapiro right now (Sept. 12) as they have been celebrating the official shut of Endeavor’s acquisition of WWE and launch of TKO on the New York Inventory Alternate, and acquired them on report about the place issues stand. NBCUniversal’s rights to Uncooked and FOX’s rights to SmackDown expire in October of subsequent 12 months.
Talking to The Hollywood Reporter, Shapiro mentioned TKO is “prepared to fireplace out of the gate” and that their “first mission is to totally capitalize on this insatiable demand for premium content material and stay occasions.” On the rights to Uncooked and SmackDown particularly, he mentioned:
“We’re having very encouraging conversations with a number of gamers and platforms for the time being on WWE Uncooked and Smackdown. We’re cautiously optimistic, we’re, in some ways, being valued as a unicorn as a result of we’re a year-round. WWE is a is a full calendar, sports activities and leisure platform with important engagement, sturdy attain and engaging demos. And that bodes properly for these conversations and I consider that we’ll have outcomes which might be in step with market expectations.”
Emanuel: We really feel excellent about the place we’re at with the WWE now as principals in that negotiation and I believe we’ll be in step with what the market thinks will occur with these rights… I’m not telling you (what which means). No. Sooner or later, I’ll name you and bug you. I promise.
Shapiro: However take into account, we’re in conversations proper now with WWE as a result of these offers are up in October of subsequent 12 months. Each offers, SmackDown and Uncooked. We’re cautiously optimistic and we’re having conversations with all of the platforms proper now, linear and digital. As Ari talked about, now we have lots of product and it’s a year-around product… WWE and UFC are a full calendar 12 months…
Disney and Amazon have been reported as potential touchdown spots for WWE programming in current months. The previous may imply broadcast, cable or streaming, whereas the later would imply Uncooked or SmackDown on Amazon Prime or their ad-supported streaming service FreeVee. Hypothesis about an Amazon deal heated up lately when Triple H was noticed in public with Emanuel and Jeff Bezos…
Will we quickly have a weekly WWE present that’s solely obtainable digitally? Keep tuned, or perhaps we should always say, maintain your subscriptions up-to-date.