Endeavor’s Ari Emanuel & Mark Shapiro discuss WWE media rights negotiations, having talks with all platforms

Photo Courtesy: CNBC

Emanuel and Shapiro talk WWE’s media rights negotiations. 

It was formally announced by Endeavor that the close of the UFC-WWE transaction has been finalized to create the new sports and entertainment company, TKO Group Holdings. The new company has begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange. 

TKO’s CEO Ari Emanuel along with President and C.O.O. Mark Shapiro joined David Faber on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street to discuss the completed transaction. They dove into WWE’s media rights negotiations for their Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown programs. 

Emanuel feels good about where they’re at as principals in the negotiations. Shapiro added that they’re having conversations with all digital and linear platforms.

Emanuel: We feel very good about where we’re at with the WWE now as principals in that negotiation and I think we’ll be in line with what the market thinks will happen with those rights… I’m not telling you (what that means). No. At some point, I’ll call you and bug you. I promise. 

Shapiro: But keep in mind, we’re in conversations right now with WWE because those deals are up in October of next year. Both deals, SmackDown and Raw. We’re cautiously optimistic and we’re having conversations with all the platforms right now, linear and digital. As Ari mentioned, we have a lot of product and it’s a year-around product… WWE and UFC are a full calendar year… 

ESPN’s President of Content, Burke Magnus, discussed the idea of ESPN being a distributor for WWE when their rights are available. To read more on that, click here.

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit CNBC’s Squawk on the Street with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

About Andrew Thompson 7748 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.