Originally published at WWE talents appearing at Fox, NBCUniversal Upfronts on Monday
Several WWE talents will be speaking at the respective upfront presentations for Fox and NBC Universal on Monday.
Both of WWE’s domestic television partners will be presenting to advertisers on the same day with talent appearing at each event, according to Deadline.
The company will be sending The Miz and Bianca Belair to the NBC Universal upfront presentations while Roman Reigns and Charlotte Flair will be attending the Fox upfronts.
Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon-Levesque spoke with Deadline about WWE being classified as both ‘sport’ and ‘entertainment’ with a scripted advantage:
“It’s like athletic theater. It’s the story, that’s why you care …. You’re swept up in the storylines. We can script the buzzer-beater moments, we can script the Hail Marys. We have a leg up on sports. … You may object to what we do, but you’re never going to be bored.
People say, ‘Oh, you have to be defined in one bucket or another.’ … But think about ESPN, what does that first letter stand for? Entertainment.”
In the Deadline story, there was a noteworthy detail that NBCUniversal has shifted WWE to its sports division when it comes to dales and led to WWE having higher visibility when it came to the promotion of WrestleMania in conjunction with NBC hosting this past year’s Super Bowl – with Fox hosting the 2023 Super Bowl and classifies Friday Night SmackDown as sports programming.
The final paragraph of the Deadline article noted a major advantage WWE holds and that is the ability to own all of its intellectual property and not having a player’s union to negotiate with – similar to the UFC model that allows the two promotions to retain so much more revenue due to its ability to harness compensation for its talent and fighters.
WWE’s domestic television deals with both NBC Universal and Fox run through the end of September 2024 – the company has a separate deal with NBC Universal where they have licensed the domestic streaming rights of the WWE Network to Peacock over five years, which began in early 2021.