As networks & streamers promote their programming for Fall 2023 and beyond to advertisers this week, most of the wrestling industry’s focus has been on the big AEW announcement that’s coming on Weds., May 17.
But tabs are also being kept on WWE’s current media rights partners at NBCUniversal (whose USA Network broadcasts Raw and NXT while their Peacock streaming service is the domestic home of WWE Network) and FOX (which brings us SmackDown each Friday). With the exception of the Peacock deal, those contracts expire next year. WWE is currently in the process of setting up the next rights deals for those three programs, so there was interest in how they’d be presented this week.
Apparently, WWE didn’t have much of a presence during one partner’s pitch and didn’t even merit a mention in the other.
NBCUniversal offered an in-person upfront presentation today (May 15) at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Per PWInsider:
With the exception of WWE content being included in a video package promoting the Peacock streaming service, there was no mention of WWE programming nor any appearances by WWE personalities.
FOX skipped presenting its fall schedule during upfronts for the second year in a row, but did present some highlights of their upcoming slate. There was no mention of WWE in that presentation or an associated press release.
Negotiating tactic? An oversight as networks tap dance their way around the writer’s strike? Weigh in below, and we’ll see how these relationships fare as negotiations and bidding heat up in the coming months.