During the conference call with investors yesterday afternoon, WWE President Nick Khan said that the company’s next big rights battle will be the next-day airing of Raw, currently locked by Hulu till the end of 2022.
Khan said that when they secured Hulu in 2018 for these rights, NBCUniversal was an active owner in Hulu but Disney is gearing up to buy out NBCU’s stake in a few years.
“A competitive landscape has already formed,” Khan said. “In terms of the Raw RIA rights, we know from the data that there is a substantial and recurring audience who watch the program via delayed viewing week-to-week on Hulu. When we closed the Hulu deal in 2018, the media landscape was quite different, as we all know.”
The reason why Raw is not uploaded immediately to WWE Network or USA Network’s app is because of this Hulu deal, but that could change with Khan already hinting different streaming services interested in securing these rights.
“We also recently saw executive shifts from Hulu to Peacock, and we believe that in addition to all other platforms looking for event programming that resonates that the battle for Raw’s RIA rights will be intense and fun,” Khan explained.