The past 24 hours at WWE have been quite hectic. The primary owner of the Stamford-based promotion, Vince McMahon, was reportedly seeking re-election to the company’s board of directors in order to help with future talks over broadcast rights and to explore a sale, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal yesterday.
Today, it was revealed that McMahon had officially taken JoEllen Lyons Dillon’s, Jeffrey R. Speed’s, and Alan M. Wexler’s places on the WWE Board in addition to former executives George Barrios and Michelle Wilson. Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics has offered his opinion on the predicament.
“Most importantly, WWE can’t make a TV rights deal without his approval. That’s been made explicit. WWE can’t sell the company without his approval. That’s been made explicit,” Thurston said on “Busted Open Radio.”
“That’s his big leverage [the TV rights deal]. ‘You can’t make a deal, you can’t make a TV deal without me,’ and that is the most important piece of their business, their US live rights deal, which I would expect to be finalized in the spring based on previous negotiations.”
Thurston believes “WWE Raw” will stay on the USA Network while acknowledging that Amazon Prime Video could be a “real possibility” for where “WWE SmackDown” ends up.
Additionally, in light of the numerous claims of sexual misconduct made against McMahon, Thurston questioned whether certain broadcast and streaming networks would want to deal with him.
“It’s important to note too in the letter that the Board wrote to Vince McMahon, which is disclosed now, that they allude to other things that they’ve learned of that are non-public that would paint him in a bad light,” Thurston said. “Something to that effect.”