WWE President Nick Khan’s journey to professional wrestling is unlike most company executives. The former Creative Artists agent worked with World Wrestling Entertainment on one-off deals, and his efforts impressed WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
Speaking to The Town, Khan detailed his early collaborations with WWE.
“I had the good fortune of getting into WWE’s business as their agent while I was at CA,” Khan said. “We had had some success together. In 2017, we all started working on the US media rights deal together. It was reported at $130 million a year as the AAV for RAW and SmackDown. We got in business together and there was a heavy multiple on that. I think it went to 3.6 times or something of that effect for those rights.
“When you have success with somebody, it gives you an even better glimpse into the world they live. In doing some other deals with WWE, the Hulu deal at the time, and some stuff in the UK, we had also had some failures together. That’s also a good thing when you want to get into business with somebody.”
Khan officially joining WWE first got set in motion in 2020, shortly after he uprooted his family from California.
“When Vince called me about 18 months or so ago and said, ‘Hey, there’s an opportunity here. I want to hire someone who I think is a non-traditional executive for this role. I’d like to talk to you about it,'” Khan said. “My wife and I had bailed on Los Angeles a couple of months into COVID with our children. We had gone to Hawaii, and because of the time difference there you’re done with work at three o’clock local and you’re in the pool with your kids, barbecuing, etc. It was all great.
“[Vince] was not interested in me telling him how great Hawaii was. He was interested in getting together the next day. I flew on a non-stop from Honolulu to New York. We got together and we shook hands on a deal.”
Since assuming his position, Nick Khan has helped land deals with industry titans like Disney. The migration of the WWE Network to Peacock sparked rumors of a full-on sale of the company, to which Khan reiterated WWE’s “open” mentality.
“As we say, we’re open for business. If you look at, what does NBCU / Comcast lack which they need? I think it’s a factual statement that they do not have the intellectual property that some other companies have. They certainly don’t have the Disney treasure trove of IP, nor should they,” Khan said. “I think they look at us as an entity that has a treasure trove of intellectual property.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The Town with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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