During last Thursday’s conference call with WWE Investors, Vince McMahon said that WWE is currently in talks with major streaming outlets about selling the rights for WWE pay-per-views. Rumors are circulating that one of those streaming services could be Amazon.
The rumors began after an article was published on CNBC by an analyst of the investment firm Needham, Lauren Martin, who was at the WWE conference call. Martin wrote that they believe that Amazon could not just buy the streaming rights to WWE content, but potentially buy the entire company.
“We believe that such a licensing deal would put Amazon in the best spot to purchase all of WWE, whenever the family is ready to exit,” said Martin.
According to Steve Muehlhausen of Sporting News, Amazon’s Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is interested in purchasing the streaming rights for the major WWE pay-per-view events.
However, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer contradicts that news, saying that there is no truth that Amazon is interested in WWE. According to him, Amazon is looking for cheaper content.
Other potential streaming services that WWE could be thinking of approaching would be DAZN, which has the pay-per-view rights to Bellator, or ESPN+ which has the pay-per-view rights to UFC. There is also NBCUniversal’s newly announced Peacock Network which is set to launch in a few months.
WWE announced the possibility of selling the rights to their pay-per-view events to a streaming service during their Q4 & Full-Year 2019 earnings report.
The sale would be one of two possible strategic alternatives that the WWE is looking into for the WWE Network to increase company revenue. According to McMahon, they will either add new tiers to the network or sell the rights to one of the major streaming services.