Stephanie McMahon Says WWE Nearly Sold Their Streaming Rights In 2014

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During a recent appearance on “The Bill Simmons Podcast”, WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon said there was a linear deal for WWE’s streaming rights in place in 2014. Of course, WWE wound up starting their own network instead. She said,

“We started looking at it before the pandemic, maybe even two years ago, we started looking at the space. It’s funny because my dad has always taught me that you have to stay slightly ahead of the curve. You never want to be so far ahead that people can’t get it and you never want to be behind, you want to be slightly ahead. When you looked at the landscape and see these big-time players start to make moves, big-time players with a lot of capital that could be invested in technology and infrastructure. We’re not a technology company, we’re a content company. It was a smart move for us to launch [in 2014], and it was scary. We actually had a linear deal. Our fans all said they wanted a WWE channel and we started working on a linear deal. We were in redline, but the partner wanted to lock up our rights for 10 years. Vince doesn’t do 10-year deals, at least he wouldn’t at that time. He took a step back, we did more research, and we found our audience was five times more likely to watch online videos than the norm. We decided right then and there that we would own our own destiny. In eight months, we launched the WWE Network, which is pretty unheard of.”

(h/t – Fightful)

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