WWE & AEW TV Rights Negotiations with Pat Crakes | POST x Wrestlenomics

Originally published at WWE & AEW TV Rights Negotiations with Pat Crakes | POST x Wrestlenomics - POST Wrestling | WWE AEW NXT NJPW Podcasts, News, Reviews

John Pollock and Brandon Thurston welcome Pat Crakes to discuss the sports media industry, major deals on the horizon, and where professional wrestling fits in that space.

They discuss the WWE’s domestic rights package, the battle between linear and streaming platforms, the value of SmackDown to Fox, WBD’s relationship with AEW, and the growth of the UFC.

Crakes is a former SVP of Programming, Research & Content Strategy at Fox Sports and currently runs Crakes Media.

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Good interview.

One thing missing in the discussion is the evolving nature of digital content. By which I mean several things:

  1. ever higher resolutions, multiple camera angles, etc.;
  2. international opportunities (this is where both Amazon and Apple are greatly more empowered than traditional media);
  3. social/political partitioning of audiences (see the "Let’s go Brandon chant at UFC event led by a fighter);
  4. the age of the wrestling audience compared to the NBA and NFL. While Thursday Night Football was mentioned, what was not mentioned is how Amazon was able to bring a younger audience.

WBD’s announcement of MAX on 4 April was very vague in regards to things like sports. AEW was not mentioned, sports entertainment was not on the menu.

I think we have to remember that WBD itself may be a temporary thing. By this time next year we could be looking at WBD being split up among traditional media conglomerates and the mega-corps (Amazon, Apple, etc.)

Finally, Fox just had to pay out $790M to Dominion for the lies spread by FoxNews. Symantec will also take a bite out of the hide of Fox. And there will be others, including already shareholder lawsuits against the senior management for negligence in these matters. Fox is not a big broadcasting company and it Murdoch could fold it back into NewsCorp.

So many things in motion that will affect wrestling companies’ rights fees and streaming.