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Stephanie McMahon Reveals WWE Nearly Sold Company’s Streaming Rights for 10 Years in 2014

April 10, 2021 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Stephanie McMahon Raw 82216

– While speaking to The Bill Simmons Podcast, WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon revealed that there was actually a linear deal for WWE’s streaming rights in place in 2014. Instead, WWE opted to start their own subscription service with the WWE Network at the time.

According to Stephanie McMahon, the deal that was in place in 2014 would’ve locked up WWE’s rights for too long at 10 years. The recent deal WWE signed with Peacock to bring the WWE Network to the streaming service this year is for five years and is valued at $1 billion. McMahon stated the following (via Fightful):

“We started looking at it before the pandemic, maybe even two years ago, we started looking at the space. It’s funny because my dad has always taught me that you have to stay slightly ahead of the curve. You never want to be so far ahead that people can’t get it and you never want to be behind, you want to be slightly ahead. When you looked at the landscape and see these big-time players start to make moves, big-time players with a lot of capital that could be invested in technology and infrastructure. We’re not a technology company, we’re a content company. It was a smart move for us to launch [in 2014], and it was scary. We actually had a linear deal. Our fans all said they wanted a WWE channel and we started working on a linear deal. We were in redline, but the partner wanted to lock up our rights for 10 years. Vince doesn’t do 10-year deals, at least he wouldn’t at that time. He took a step back, we did more research, and we found our audience was five times more likely to watch online videos than the norm. We decided right then and there that we would own our own destiny. In eight months, we launched the WWE Network, which is pretty unheard of.”