Bros Discovery (Wikipedia)
Meltzer: Update on WWE Raw TV rights, how AEW could
be affected WWE executives met with WBD earlier this
week. - December 14, 2023
By Dave Meltzer
WWE Raw rights renewals and the AEW rights renewals
will end up being two of the most important pro wrestling
news stories of the next year.
the start, analysts have believed NBCU (USA), Disney
(FX), Amazon Prime, and WBD were all potential suitors
for the show that starts its 32nd year in a few weeks.
WBD, due to its affiliation with AEW, was always considered
a longshot and the word going around was that WBD
was no longer in the game as of October.
CM Punk signing looks to have opened doors up since
Endeavor's Mark Shapiro along with Nick Khan and Paul
Levesque had a meeting with WBD on Monday morning.
report we had was that Punk was a major part of the
pitch, with the idea he'd be a regular on the Raw
brand. The report we had included pushing his merchandise
sales and social media views along with ratings of
the situation is back wide open and this greatly affects
AEW, which has also been in talks with WBD on a number
of deals besides just television rights renewals,
including potential streaming. WBD also gets a cut
of AEW's streaming PPV buys through Bleacher Report.
never acknowledged, there is also the belief that
WBD owns points in AEW. Tony Khan never denied it
when asked, only saying he has 100 percent of the
voting and decision making power.
new WWE ownership is not Vince McMahon, so the attempt
to get brand exclusivity is likely not there. UFC's
contract with ESPN was negotiated by Endeavor. PFL,
a rival promotion, was also able to get on ESPN and
ESPN+, and PFL just renewed that deal. It is believed
the CW deal for NXT also didn't call for exclusivity
in the wrestling genre. Whether WBD would want two
wrestling franchises is a different matter.
Khan has always talked of loyalty to WBD, even saying
that in negotiations for this new deal he would stay
with WBD on his next deal even if another entity offered
slightly more money. He also made it clear after the
purchase of ROH that he would only shop it to WBD
stations, who didn't bite on it. It was reported by
Nick Hausman and confirmed by Tony Khan that CW had
expressed interest in ROH some time back. Khan had
said in the past that he legally could sell ROH television
rights outside the WBD family, but out of loyalty
would not do so at the time.
difficult to predict outcomes in these negotiations.
SmackDown going to USA Network this coming October
was very predictable and the clear favorite. NXT going
to CW seemed to come out of the blue. Levesque missed
the Raw two weeks earlier for a meeting with another
potential suitor for the show, This would indicate
those talks were very serious by that point.
than a decade ago with UFC, everyone was sure it was
going from Spike to the NBC family literally until
it came out the deal was with Fox. It was just recently
that Dana White explained how that happened and that
they were ready to sign with NBC, but the nature of
Vince McMahon's WWE deal with USA, the station that
would have aired the bulk of the programming, was
such that MMA was considered close enough to pro wrestling
that he had to give approval. He did not, and the
NBC deal was dead.
as far as where Raw ends up, until the announcement
is made, nothing is a lock. There are so many other
potential repercussions in regard to late 2024, including
the channels WWE programming will be on and the days
of the week the shows will be on. SmackDown on Friday
would seem to make no sense considering how much USA
paid for the show, given the viewers watching television
on Friday are considerably lower than Sunday through
Thursday. For AEW, it would not be in its best interest
to be on the same night as Raw or SmackDown.
moving from Monday is also intriguing talk. Its history
on Monday is so long that it's such a long standing
tradition to fans that moving it is a risk. Yet it
takes a hit every year for several months due to the
WBD talks regarding Raw, because of those repercussions
is the most intriguing. At first it appeared to be
so unlikely that it even being consistently mentioned
by analysts was scoffed at.
this year has both added a new show, leading to a
rights increase and signed AEW to an exclusive contract.
In recent weeks it has consistently okayed the live
shows going long so main events don't have to be rushed.
While not doing Raw numbers, Dynamite usually ranks
between No. 2 and No. 6 for the week in cable rankings
in the entertainment category -- a category that Raw
is usually first place in.
addition of CM Punk increases Raw's ratings potential.
Of course the early shows got a big boost and most
likely the impact will be lessened in time. Some will
point to Monday's lower number and say it's already
back to normal, but the Punk segment with Seth Rollins
did 1,881,000 viewers and an 0.62 in 18-49, far above
the rest of the show. While Raw, like Dynamite, almost
always loses viewers as the show goes on, the drop
of 626,000 viewers and 0.22 from the Punk quarter
until the last quarter was so far beyond usual levels
that it was staggering. The show clearly would have
done far worse against the competition without the
storyline of him announcing his destination. Long-term,
we really have to wait until after football season
ends to ascertain how the overall momentum of the
is looking for a huge increase in Raw rights on the
new deal, the hoped for figure of 50 percent or more
would be $398 million and even a 40 percent increase
would be $371 million.
is value in having the No. 1 franchise in the genre,
but from a cost per 18-49 viewer level AEW Dynamite
is a bargain in comparison.
AEW does 55 percent of the Raw 18-49 ratings, and
that's likely within a few percentage points of where
it currently is on a year-around basis, Dynamite was
believed to have been roughly $50 million in rights
fees for 2023, and the option year would bump it up.
Raw is three hours vs. two, so as its price per hour
would be in the $124 million to $133 million range,
and the Dynamite price for this coming year is maybe
in the $30 million range per hour. Even with an increase
to, say $90 million ($45 million per hour) on the
next deal, it would mean delivering 55 percent of
the 18-49 viewers at 25 to 36 percent of the cost.
key figure is that based on a recent Werstlenomics
study of household income of the viewers of the different
wrestling shows from January through November, that
the median income of a Dynamite viewing household
is the highest of any wrestling show in the United
States. The figure of $61,500 median household viewership
is 13.3 percent higher than that of a Raw household,
meaning the theoretical value of its viewers should
be significantly higher.
a lot of balls are in play right now and with everything
from the days the shows air to the value of having
the top rated non-sports show in one's portfolio.
But this also comes at a cost that is high enough
that Fox, a network station, gave up SmackDown at
a lower price, because they felt they lost too much
money on the deal. And this is with SmackDown being
the highest rated wrestling show and winning most
Observer/Figure 4 Online)
boss, James Packer invest in Dr Dre's streaming service
- 7th March 2013
Russian tycoon and Warner Music Group owner Len Blavatnik
has bought into a new music streaming company being
developed by Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovines company
to a statement from Beats, Blavatniks Access
Industries has led a group of investors which
includes Australias James Packer and Texan billionaire
Lee M Bass in a $60 million investment. The
internet music streaming service will be called Daisy.
service was announced in January when Nine Inch Nails
Trent Reznor was appointed Chief Creative Officer.
According to Reuters, Daisy representatives met with
Apple CEO Tim Cook for a potential party.
the last 12 months Blavatnik has been investing heavily
in music, first with the purchase of the Warner Music
Group and then with assets for Warner. Last year Access
Industries also invested in streaming service Deezer.
a statement Blavatnik said, Beats has the vision,
the brand, the management team and now the investor
group to effectively change the expectations and experience
of a music subscription service.