WWE has had talks with ESPN about possibly moving their PPVs to the ESPN+ streaming service, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, but they’re just talks and there’s no deal to report as of now.
Earlier this month, Vince McMahon said that WWE was considering selling their PPVs to another streaming service and moving them off of the WWE Network. “Right now there’s no more better time to exercise the selling of our rights to all the [major streaming services] who, quite frankly, all the majors are really clamoring for our content. So that could be a significant increase, obviously, in terms of revenue,” he said.
ESPN+ currently carries UFC’s PPVs. The UFC PPV deal, which was signed last year, is what inspired WWE to look into that as a possible business model for their PPVs. ESPN+ costs $4.99 per month, and UFC’s PPVs cost an additional $64.99 each. UFC also has less major shows that air as part of the $4.99 per month ESPN+ package. If WWE does sign a deal, a big question is whether or not WWE’s PPVs would be an additional cost or if they’d be part of the base service.
If WWE does sign a deal with ESPN, one benefit would be that ESPN would likely heavily promote their PPVs, giving them more mainstream attention.
Vince McMahon said that a deal with a streaming provider could be announced as soon as this quarter, which would be before WrestleMania.