No Deal Between WWE & NBCUniversal - Big Update On Domestic TV Negotiations

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Variety has an update on WWE's ongoing negotiations for a new domestic television distribution agreement. According to their report, WWE and NBCUniversal stepped away from negotiations without a new deal. Below is a statement the company issued to Variety:

“WWE’s exclusive negotiating period with NBCU for our flagship television programs, ‘Raw’ and ‘SmackDown,’ has now expired,”

“While we were unable to reach an agreement with NBCU during this period, we have certainly appreciated our long and productive partnership. With year-round, live programming that is highly coveted by programmers, distributors and advertisers, we are extremely excited about our future. We look forward to engaging with potential partners who recognize the value of having the #1 show on cable and live content delivered 52 weeks a year.”

WWE is free to negotiate with other companies and a new deal with NBCU could still be reached once WWE explores all of their options. Variety reports that WWE is considering multiple plans for its shows and that includes airing them all with a single family of networks or splitting them up across multiple network owners.

The main goal is still to significantly increase the $139.5 million in TV licensing fees that WWE currently earns each year for their shows. They want to get closer to the deals that the major sports organizations command for live programming. WWE will also offer up Smackdown as a live show, a change from the current format where the show is taped earlier in the week before it airs Friday nights on SyFy.

Both Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown will continue to air on the USA Network and SyFy in their current form through September 30, 2014.

Click here for coverage by Variety.

  • Vic Jose


    • Bob’s Diner

      What does this have to do with TNA?

      • If WWE goes after a deal with Viacom, it will.

      • Vic Jose

        Things aren’t looking good with NBC so WWE will likely end up on Spike, which means bye bye TNA, because nobody will probably want them at this rate.

        • Bob’s Diner

          It isn’t likely they will end up on Spike at all. Not to mention I am sure Spike have a contract with TNA that would mean they can’t just kick them off the air with no warning

  • Jason

    They aren’t going to get near the deal NASCAR just made with FOX and NBC. The reason NASCAR is getting paid that much is they have programming 7 days per week with their licensing on it. WWE does not. Also, NASCAR has live programming typically beginning Thursday and going through Sunday, which far surpasses the 7 hours of programming per week that WWE requires. If you add up all the programming hours that NASCAR requires, it would be about 40 hours or more. Therefore in my mind, WWE shouldn’t get a deal even close to what NASCAR got paid. And the reason I am using NASCAR as an example here is that they are the most recent major sports organization to finalize a TV deal and in the other articles, they were used as the example to the amount that WWE wants.

    On a personal standpoint, I think NBCU deliberately let the deadline pass because they want to see what other networks are going to offer. After all, it would be silly on their part to sign, hypothetically, a 5 year $600 million deal when VIACOM would have offered 5 years at $500 million without testing the waters. By permitting other companies to step in, they can see what the market will draw from others and get a realistic price idea on what they should pay for WWE programming. You want your bid to be as close to others in terms of price, value, and rights, this allows that to happen.

    • Avalanchian

      John Cena sponsored by Viagra. He just keeps on getting up. Here we see Ziggler with the Haircare for men sticker on his butt.

      • Vic Jose


    • Bob’s Diner

      I find it hilarious that when it comes to getting them more money, WWE claim they are a sport. Yet when it comes to politics and almost everything else, they claim they are entertainment and not a sport at all

  • david

    This doesn’t really surprise me. Universal was smart for not finalizing a deal yet. They probably want to see what WWE can get elsewhere and match it so they don’t commit to paying top dollar without having to. Raw helps USA to much to let it move.