WWE’s Nick Khan confirms India live event, open to potential SmackDown night change

WWE's previously planned return to the country of India will be this September according to CEO Nick Khan.

Khan gave the update when speaking at the MoffettNathanson's Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference on Thursday. He did not give an exact date, nor confirm whether it will air on the WWE Network/Peacock. 

Last November, news broke that the company was planning a major show in Hyderabad, India, in January. However, that was postponed in late-December due to the merger between Sony and Zee, the former of which WWE is a broadcast partner with. There are two years left on that deal.

During the ThunderDome era during the pandemic, WWE held an event specifically for the Indian market called Superstar Spectacle — a show Khan said in April was viewed by 25 million people live and nearly 40 million over a three-day period.

He said WWE is the second most popular sport in India after cricket and is bullish on generating WWE Network subscriptions there.

A new night for SmackDown?

He didn't give any new developments in the ongoing media rights negotiations with either NBCU and Fox, but when talking about SmackDown, he brought up how prior to Fox, it aired on Thursdays and Tuesdays, saying, "we can go any night of the week" and that they are attractive to entities who want to program certain nights of the week.

Based on the timeframe Khan previously spoke about, both NBCU and Fox are out of the one month exclusive negotiating window. It's unknown what other players are throwing their hat in the ring, but Khan again said he expects "a good increase for both properties."

When talking about the current situation and how Disney does simulcasts with the NFL's Monday Night Football product, he mentioned that NBC hasn't programmed Monday nights which was "interesting" to him. He did not say whether they would be open to moving Raw in the same way he discussed SmackDown.

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