Empire State Building to honor RAW 25 today, Variety looks at WWE’s upcoming TV rights

Empire State Building to honor RAW 25 today

The Empire State Building will be honoring tonight’s RAW 25 show by lighting up red.

You can view the official announcement at this link.

WWE Champion AJ Styles, RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns also helped open the New York Stock Exchange this morning.

Variety looks at WWE’s upcoming TV rights

Variety is featuring an article looking at WWE’s current television rights with NBC Universal expiring next year and how the company has been in talks with multiple outlets.

Some of these outlets potentially include Fox, who were unable to come to terms with the UFC on a new television rights deal on Fox, Fox Sports 1 and FXX.

The article notes that current WWE programming – RAW and Smackdown Live – makes up “a third of prime time viewership” for the USA Network at this time. Stephanie McMahon and Chris McCumber (NBC) were quoted in the article about the current WWE deal.

Stephanie McMahon:

“We are incredibly happy with our partnership with USA. In terms of what the future might hold, I guess we’ll see, but we’ve been very, very happy and I hope NBC is happy as well.”

Chris McCumber:

“Certainly having a live, 52-week-a-year franchise is important. Live viewing, especially these days with a lot of time-shifting going on, allows you to have a pretty big platform, which has a halo effect across the entire network. WWE’s audience is a real microcosm of all of America, and it really does a great job of bringing that audience into USA. It’s important to be able to have that symbiotic relationship between the audience and the rest of the schedule.”

In addition to Fox, Amazon and Facebook were also listed as potential suitors for WWE. Stephanie McMahon was quick to shoot down the WWE Network as an option right now.

“We leverage a content ecosystem, so at the moment, it is absolutely relevant and necessary to have [our content] on linear platforms. It is still reaching a broad audience and it’s still our most profitable line of business. One piece doesn’t work without the other. Ultimately, would ‘Raw’ and ‘SmackDown’ go to the WWE Network? Maybe. But that’s certainly not where we are now.”