Backstage Report, Speculation On WWE Broadcast Rights Negotiations

Over the last several months, WWE has announced new TV rights deals for both "WWE SmackDown" and "WWE NXT" that will begin in 2024. That leaves just "WWE Raw" left to negotiate, and it's beginning to sound as though an announcement will be made soon regarding the red brand. Speaking on today's "Wrestling Observer Radio," journalist Dave Meltzer shared what he's heard regarding the possible next home for "Raw."

Meltzer stated that WWE has been in talks with major companies like Amazon and Disney, and though there had been discussions, for some time it was believed that there was no possibility of striking a deal with Warner Bros. Discovery. However, that has changed, and it sounds like it's WBD is open to negotiating, possibly due to the arrival of CM Punk.

As many wrestling fans already know, WBD owns both TNT and TBS, the stations that currently air AEW programming. A deal between WBD and WWE would be significant because it would likely mean AEW has to find a new home after their current TV deal, which is also expiring next year. During an appearance on AEW TV earlier this year, Punk referred to WBD CEO David Zaslav as being a fan of his, and there's no denying that Punk has moved the needle for WWE in various ways since his arrival. These factors could make the WWE offer more enticing for WBD. 

Meltzer speculated that Punk was added to WWE's upcoming Los Angeles, California live event because of the presence of potential partners, but that is far from confirmed. He also stated that the next TV rights agreement for "Raw" will likely be announced soon, as WWE is working on finalizing the deal. The company is reportedly hoping to bring in close to $400 million for the long-running show. WBD is currently paying a far lower rate for AEW, so the company will have to weigh the benefits and costs of each partnership before making a decision.