WWE reportedly changes TV taping plans

According to a new report from PWInsider, WWE has made changes to their television taping schedule.

It is being said that the new plan going forward is that Monday Night Raw, NXT and Friday Night SmackDown will all air live, and take place from the WWE Performance Center with only essential personnel in attendance. 

Also, per the same report, the decision to go live each week was made earlier in the day on Friday. 

WWE had initially planned to tape the remainder of television for April and into May leading into Money in the Bank, which was set to take at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, but the arena announced Thursday that the pay-per view has been canceled due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

WWE talent began arriving this past Wednesday in Orlando, Florida for tapings that would have brought the company through mid May. It is believed that the Money in the Bank PPV will take place at the Performance Center as well.

According to a similar report by FW4Online, contracts with both NBCUniversal and Fox call for a certain number of shows per year that can be taped. It is being said that Raw can only have three, which was at the start of the year, and two shows during the European Tour.  It is also being said that FOX has a similar deal.

The same report also indicates that while nobody will say so publicly, the fear was that this could potentially violate the contract and would give NBCUniversal and FOX legal ability to withhold money or find a way to change the deals. With no current WWE Live house shows, the company, like all sports companies, is surviving largely based on television revenue, with the networks paying also taking in far less revenue than projected at the present time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.