imagine a world where Monday Night Ra!w is no longer available on television?
Believe it or not, that world is slowly becoming a reality day after day and while it could be awhile before it actually happens, an associate close to Vince McMahon talked about that being the plan moving forward. WWE is currently under contract with USA Network to broadcast Monday Night Raw and Smackdown Live on Monday and Tuesday respectively , but the contract is scheduled to expire in January of 2023 and that could also be when WWE decides to switch to an online format
According to Chief Strategy and Financial officer, George Barrios“Vince [McMahon] has said it many times. Five, six or seven years ago we thought it was really important to make sure we staked out the social digital landscape as well as direct to consumer. We’ve done that, so now we have options. Do I think a digital player will become more realistic to step up in the level of rights fees we’ve seen from traditional players? I think eventually. I couldn’t tell you whether that’s tomorrow or five years from now, but I think eventually. Certainly over the last two years we’ve seen a steady progression. From our end, the reason we’ve invested so much in having a position on these platforms is to take advantage of that eventuality. ”
One reason for the proposed move is ratings, which aren’t the large numbers they pulled in during the attitude era back in the 90’s, but is at least enough for them to stay with USA Network for now. With that being said, it is believed that WWE is having increased interest in streaming platforms and eventually cashing in their Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and other social media followers in order to have a dedicated online audience. The move might hurt their television revenue a little, but if enough people were to sign up for the service, or the ride advertisement opportunity arises, the difference could be made up.