Nick Khan on complaints from former WWE talents, Peacock, NBCU, more

Mar 31, 2022 - by Marc Middleton

WWE President & Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan appeared on Matthew Belloni’s The Town podcast this week and was asked about complaints from former WWE talents who cite negative experiences and preferential treatment.

“Everyone is treated humanely and deserves to be treated that way. I do think there are analogies with our company and other companies,” Khan said.

Khan compared their situation to when the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers had superstar players in Shaquille O’Neal and the late Kobe Bryant playing at the same time, noting that they were not treated the same as some of their teammates.

“Was Shaq treated better than any other player other than Kobe? Yeah. That’s the way it is,” Khan answered, then mentioning that Will Smith wasn’t removed from The Oscars following his slap of Chris Rock in part because he was a major star. “It’s the same way with us. It’s a meritocracy. If you’re at the top of the card, maybe you have a bigger dressing room than someone at the bottom of the card. Everyone has same opportunity to earn their way there.”

Khan also discussed WWE’s partnership with Peacock, noting that both sides are extremely happy with the deal that was made. Khan reiterated past comments about WWE being “open for business” when asked about a potential sale of the company for when the next time TV rights fees are up, adding that Peacock doesn’t have the IP that other companies like Disney has.

“The way I like to think they look at us is as an entity that has a treasure trove of IP and a lot of it that hasn’t been exploited yet,” Khan said, noting that he sees a lot of similarities between WWE and the world of Saturday Night Live boss Lorne Michaels, as well as Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland production company.

He added, “Now it’s up to us to monetize it properly and show the community what we have to offer.”

Khan also mentioned how he feels WWE should get a “hometown discount” when it comes to negotiating with NBCUniversal, and that NBCU should consider WWE a “home team” because of their longtime relationship.

Khan later commented that WWE is for the masses, and they can never lose sight of that. It was noted that the average WWE viewer grew up in the 1980s or 1990s, and went to public school, because of the availability, or lack thereof, of cable in many parts of the country.

Khan said WWE’s decision to license out WWE Network content was because fo a re-focused effort on being a content company, and not a tech company.

Stay tuned for more from Khan. You can hear the full interview below:

(H/T to F4Wonline for the quotes)

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