Wrestling fans who love Vince McMahon’s promotion have been more than happy paying $9.99 for all the streaming content on the WWE Network. It not only brings forth new pay-per-views and shows but also offers a vast library of old footage and events. Now, there are rumors flying around that McMahon is actually in talks with the ESPN Plus streaming service to get WWE content on the sports giant’s platform.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, by way of Wrestlezone, WWE is intrigued by the deal that UFC has with the “Worldwide Leader in Sports.” Currently, fans pay $4.99 per month for a subscription to ESPN Plus and $64.99 additional for each UFC event/pay-per-view. However, the price for WWE events could be different depending on what the company would want to charge.
For a few years now, ESPN and WWE have had a partnership that has each company referencing the other. ESPN covers WWE events and posts news from the promotion on its website, airs results on SportsCenter, and even interviews superstars on different TV shows.
There had been rumors earlier this month that WWE was speaking with Amazon about purchasing streaming rights for content. But as reported by Wrestling Inc., there is absolutely no truth to those rumors.
If ESPN and WWE could come to an agreement on a partnership of some kind, it would end up costing viewers more money to enjoy pay-per-views. WWE would sell the rights to these events to ESPN — which would earn them more money than they could make on their own by selling them to viewers on the WWE Network.
Not only could this bring in more money to Vince McMahon and company, but it could also bring about much more exposure. PPVs such as the upcoming WrestleMania 36 already get plenty of attention, but ESPN’s mainstream reputation would likely do nothing but get more eyes on the product.
Along with WWE being fully associated with ESPN, they’d also fall partially under the umbrella of The Walt Disney Company, which owns the sports giant.
Wrestling Observer reports that there is no way of knowing just how far along the talks have progressed, but there is no deal in place as of this week. It is likely that discussions will continue between the two sides, with the hopes of an agreement being struck.
It’s not yet known just how much extra money a deal like this would cost those who have subscribed to the WWE Network, but it could result in a significant increase. This would allow the promotion to not have to rely solely on money from network subscribers, as they could get a guaranteed amount of money by selling the PPV rights to ESPN.