WWE Returns to Live Events in Changed Media Landscape

    • WWE didn’t miss a week of television broadcasts during the pandemic.
    • It will be kicking off a 25-city tour in Houston on Friday.

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The pandemic forced WWE to explore new ways to create a spectacle, and some of those will stick going forward.

“We learned so much about augmented reality, virtual reality — we could use pyro in ways that we never could before,” WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon told FOS. 

The biggest change is in how people watch WWE. The company shut down its U.S. streaming service in April after migrating to Peacock in a deal worth a reported $1 billion.

“We actually made the decision that we wanted to license the content of WWE Network before the pandemic,” said McMahon. “Sports league rights [values] are increasing.”

  • With 78.7 million subscribers, WWE is the most popular sports channel on YouTube and sixth-most popular overall.
  • WWE has 11.6 million followers on its official TikTok account, outpacing the NFL, MLB, and NHL. 

WWE has existed for 68 years under various names, and McMahon acknowledged that part of the brand’s value lies in its cross-generational appeal.

Other than the NFL, “more families watch WWE programming together than any major sports franchise,” she said. “We always want to target and grow that next-gen audience.”