Analyst predicts NBC Universal retains domestic rights for WWE Raw

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Analyst Curry Baker predicts that NBC Universal will retain the rights to WWE Raw.

JohnWallStreet reviewed the recent merger announcement between WWE and UFC to form a NewCo (set to trade under the letters ‘TKO’) under the Endeavor umbrella and described it as a ‘win-win for both parties – at least in the long-term’.

Analyst Curry Baker notes that NBC Universal is committed to keeping its Monday night franchise program:

NBCU wants to retain the RAW rights this renewal cycle and are [believe to be] willing to pay up for them. They’re possibly looking at SmackDown as well,” Baker said. “And for them, [WWE] could have backed into a buyer’s multiple that was somewhere between 8-10x depending on what step up they are assuming or underwriting for in this upcoming renewal.

WWE Raw premiered in January 1993 on the USA Network and has remained on the network, except for a five-year period between 2000 and 2005.

Baker made the following prediction for the domestic rights for WWE Raw, which expire with NBC Universal at the end of September 2024:

NBCU’s going to keep RAW and I think Disney retains the UFC and certainly pays up for the PPV portion of that contract.

JohnWallStreet notes that it’s less clear how Fox views Friday Night SmackDown and if it will retain the domestic rights, which expire at the same time as Raw. JohnWallStreet adds that WWE has indicated there is interest from Google, Apple, and Amazon if Fox steps away from SmackDown.