There are major changes in the TV industry going on as WWE’s broadcast partner NBCUniversal pivots its attention toward streaming, which could have implications for the company.
According to The Wall Street Journal, there’s a feature story looking at the company’s move more toward streaming as it overhauls its entertainment division, noting that networks like E!, Oxygen and Syfy do not have long-term futures.
The shift comes as NBCU is ramping up its deployment of Peacock, which launched in May for Xfinity subscribers and July for everyone else. 10 million people are subscribed to Peacock thus far.
Such a move would be significant for WWE, as E! airs Total Divas and Total Bellas while any change could affect NBCUniversal’s other networks such as USA Network where RAW, NXT, and Miz & Mrs. air. WWE’s contract with NBCUniversal still has many years left and the network won’t be cancelling the shows, but it does mean that the situation could look very different when the deal comes up — similar to what AEW may be looking at, as WarnerMedia has also been focusing itself heavily on streaming with the launch of HBO Max.
WarnerMedia had its own organizational shakeup back in August that saw AEW ally Kevin Reilly exit as the company overhauled their organizational structure and put HBO Max under a new level of focus.
NBCU issued a statement to the Journal which, while not mentioning any specific network, said:
“NBCUniversal’s cable networks carry some of the most popular programming in the industry and are enormously profitable. They will continue to be a valuable part of our portfolio for fans, advertisers and our shareholders.”