Professional sports leagues and college conferences have been getting rich television deals during the past few years. Media rights expert Chris Bevilacqua says the next winner will be World Wrestling Entertainment, whose television deals soon expire.
WWE’s last round of broadcasting deals were negotiated long before live sports content became all the rage. Based on WWE’s large live viewership, favorable demographics and big social media following, it could see its broadcasting revenue, currently $140 million, triple with its next deal.
WWE currently generates over 300 gross rating points per year combined with RAW and SmackDown. There are 50 million U.S. television households with at least one WWE fan, and of the 97 million active WWE fans, 41% are males age 18-34. WWE regularly ranks as one of the top 15 “most talked about” brands on Facebook FB -0.91%.
Potential bidders for WWE’s next media deal: Fox Sports 1 (which already showcases the UFC), NBC Sports Network, or perhaps even Netflix (NFLX +2.09%) or Google (GOOG -0.36%), who are both entertaining the idea of sports content.