Variety.com posted a new article today looking at the ongoing negotiations with WWE and their TV programming in the US. Here are some of the major points mentioned in the article:
* WWE is shopping all of their programming at the same time.
* WWE would have no issue making Smackdown a live broadcast and switching nights, even if their costs would increase, to increase the value of the show.
* There would be an inclusion of next day airing rights, which could spell the end of WWE programming on the Hulu website.
* Wrestlemania and Summerslam would be included on the upcoming "subscription-based" WWE Network.
* WWE feels they can break even on the upcoming WWE Network with 800,000 to 1 million subscribers.
* NBC Universal has until Feburary 15, 2014 to accept or reject WWE's final offer for the TV rights renewal agreement. If NBC declines, WWE can then accept bids from potential partners until Feburary 28, 2014. WWE will then have until March 4, 2014 to make a final decision. Should WWE agree to a new partnership, their programming would remain on NBC Universal until October 2014.
* WWE has reached out to A&E, Viacom, Disney, 21st Century Fox and Discovery in case negotiations with NBC Universal fall through.
When asked about the upcoming TV rights renewal negotiations, WWE Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Michelle Wilson said the following:
"We're letting the marketplace determine if it's interested in all or pieces. We've had to evolve our thinking. We are clearly entertainment-based, but if you think about the characteristics of our brand, it's live action, and that's sports. We want to be compensated for a live audience, since live content is getting a very significant premium in the marketplace."
WWE has yet to confirm any of these reports by Variety.com as of this writing.
To view the full article by Variety, click here.