wrestling / News

Details on FOX/WWE Relationship, High-Level Meetings Recently Took Place

September 24, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE on FOX Moving Truck

WWE has reportedly had several high-level meetings with FOX officials as of late, with new details of the two companies’ relationship made available. Fightful Select has a lengthy report discussing the relationship between the wrestling company and network, which notes that Vince McMahon and Nick Khan met with FOX Sports CEO Eric Shanks and FS Head of Production Brad Zager on the night before SummerSlam.

According to the report, which notes that they have spoken with reps and sources from “many levels” in WWE, FOX, FOX Sports, NBCU, Peacock and USA Network. It makes clear that the sources don’t represent Fox, NBC Universal, Peacock, Tubi, The USA Network or WWE as a whole.

According to the report, while a source at FOX has acknowledged that WWE’s viewership for Smackdown have been disappointing compared to their expectations, that’s been difficult to gauge for sure due to the pandemic being in effect for much of that relationship. Sources from both sides pointed out that Smackdown is still the most watched wrestling TV show in the world.

While one FOX source said that the network has not been incredibly pleased with constantly promoting Peacock, several sources said that it hasn’t been a serious issue. Sources on both sides noted that WWE talent have been heavily featured on FOX, FOX Sports and the like to promote SummerSlam, which is prime programming for FOX. It was also noted by a WWE source that if FOX wanted the PPV content, they could have paid the price that Peacock ultimately did.

It was also noted Fightful’s FOX source that discussed the ratings numbers that the news that Rupert Murdoch will likely be portrayed in a negative way in the upcoming scripted series about Vince McMahon is a “childish move” that won’t help the WWE/FOX relationship. Murdoch had met with Stephanie McMahon, Triple H and others in May 2018 to lure WWE’s programming from USA.

However, it was also said that Vince McMahon has had a conversation with Murdoch in recent months and the topic wasn’t broached, with the relationship between the two families being “one of great respect.”

FOX has felt that WWE bringing back John Cena, Brock Lesnar and Becky Lynch has shown an effort to go above and beyond in stacking up the roster since fans returned to live events.

Regarding the WWE/FOX meetings, the two sides reportedly met during SummerSlam for about four hours and it was said from WWE’s side to have been productive. McMahon and Khan have decided to nix a discussed Raw at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in order to appease FOX so that the first show in the city for WWE can be the December 10th Smackdown, which is expected to be announced shortly.

article topics :

FOX, WWE, Jeremy Thomas