WWE has set a new record for its fan base according to a new report.
Trends Sports Poll has conducted a survey that shows WWE is continuing to grow its fan base.
The poll was published on Thursday 8th June in The Hollywood Reporter and shows that 89.9 million people are fans of WWE.
WWE has now reached a record high, surpassing the previous survey numbers of 85.1 million people being fans in 2021, with just shy of 90 million fans in 2022.
“More people identify themselves as WWE fans now than at any time in the history of the research, which dates back to 1994,”
The continued growth announcement has come along at a perfect time for WWE CEO Nick Khan, who will be under pressure to deliver an improved deal during upcoming negotiations regarding the exclusive rights to broadcast Raw and SmackDown.
“We are always in touch with all of the buyers in the marketplace about what they are looking for. If you look at the NBA situation, my belief is the NBA is going to split the rights which are now split two ways between Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney.
They could split them four to five ways. And we think that is good for everybody. We followed the NBA’s playbook five years ago in wanting to not have one exclusive partner for Raw and SmackDown and to split them two ways.
Now we are looking at the marketplace in its totality and thinking there might be more options than even that.”
Could WWE Create Extra Hour To Lay More SmackDown?
According to Nick Khan, WWE is considering making SmackDown a three-hour show, matching the length of Monday Night Raw.
Khan spoke at the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media, and Communications Conference and confirmed that WWE are open to moving flagship broadcasts to any night of the week.
He also addressed the possibility of adding a third hour of SmackDown and the company’s current TV deals.
“We can go any night of the week. We can go off Fridays for SmackDown, we can move off Mondays for Raw,”
“We’re just out of the exclusive window with Fox. We’re still in the window with NBCU,”
With the celebration of Roman Reigns 1,000 days as Champion on Smackdown bringing in just under 3 million viewers in North America, Fox will be keen to keep hold of The Tribal Chief should a new deal be agreed.
WWE’s TV deal with Fox and NBCUniversal will end in 2024, whilst their agreement with Peacock runs until 2026.
H/t to Fightful