Richard Deitsch Comments On Possibility Of WWE And Nick Khan Dealing With ESPN

WWE's U.S. media rights deals with FOX and NBC Universal's USA Network are due to expire next year. Last week, it was reported that the promotion had renewed conversations with ESPN, which is owned by The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Communications, about collaborating on future projects. Sports journalist Richard Deitsch believes that WWE CEO Nick Khan will have discussions with the sports broadcaster about WWE programming.


"Nick Khan's relationships with ESPN executives is very, very deep and very, very good," Deitsch said on the "Strictly Business with Eric Bischoff" podcast. "The CAA-ESPN ties are just throughout that entire organization and, obviously, Nick Khan came from CAA, so the one thing I can guarantee you is they'll talk."

Deitsch doesn't think ESPN would have a problem airing WWE shows and expressed that there was no "morality play" for the sports broadcaster. The sportswriter admitted that WWE would need to negotiate a deal that would see their shows air on ESPN or ABC and not on the ESPN+ streaming platform. Nevertheless, Deitsch thinks that WWE would entertain the idea of a combined agreement where they would have network specials if they were to go down the ESPN+ route. 


Back in January 2021, it was reported that there were issues between WWE and ESPN after the promotion opted to enter a deal with NBCU for Peacock; ESPN had allegedly been in talks with the Stamford-based organization about the WWE Network. At one stage, there were rumors that Disney/Hearst were interested in purchasing WWE. Earlier this month, it was confirmed that WWE and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) would be merging under the Endeavor umbrella to form a new sports and entertainment organization. WWE and UFC are said to be negotiating U.S. media rights deals as separate entities

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Strictly Business w/ Eric Bischoff" and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.