TKO COO Mark Shapiro on WWE shoulder content coming to Netflix, WBD and the NBA, WWE’s PLE deal with Peacock

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

TKO President and COO Mark Shapiro took part in the 52nd Annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference on Monday. The following are among the WWE related highlights of the conference that can be heard in full at

-Shapiro spoke about the NBA television negotiations and said everyone is waiting to see if Warner Bros Discovery is left at the altar. He said clearly NBA deals are happening with Comcast, ESPN/Disney, and Amazon. Shapiro said he feels TKO sits in a good place with two year-round properties in WWE and UFC.

-Shapiro was asked about having Netflix as a single international partner. He said it’s been a transformative deal for WWE. He said Netflix and Disney are the content powerhouses. Shapiro said they did a test by streaming WrestleMania in New Zealand with no promotion. He said it went off without a hitch and they were the highest streaming show that night. Shapiro said their sponsors are excited about the move to Netflix. Shapiro said Netflix saw WWE as scripted programming and the deal was a way to dip their toe into live events.

-The host asked about shoulder content on Netflix. Shapiro said they would do a “Formula 1: Drive To Survive” style show next year on Netflix. He said he also expects there to be biography pieces on WWE talent.

-Shapiro was asked about the Peacock deal expiring. Shapiro praised the team that runs the streaming service. He said the premium live events would be in hot demand once the deal expires. Shapiro said he didn’t understand until they were pitching Raw to various buyers that WWE is similar to a soap opera and they essentially peak with the monthly premium live events. He referred to Paul Levesque as “Triple H” and credited him with making that part of the pitch to potential partners for Raw. Shapiro said that when they had the meetings, the question of when the PLE deal would expire always came up. He said that tells him that there’s great demand for the PLE package as long as Levesque “keeps doing what he’s doing.” Shapiro called WWE a great product.

-Shapiro spoke briefly about how Nick Khan is handling the negotiations to expand the WWE deal with Saudi Arabia within the next six to twelve months. He also spoke of getting site fees and incentive packages for WWE and UFC events.

Powell’s POV: Shapiro also spoke a lot about the UFC television/streaming negotiations. As usual, he praised Disney/ESPN, yet acknowledged that there will be strong competition.


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