WWE Expected to Sign Landmark TV Deal
The hope within WWE is they will be able to sign a television licensing deal worth billions of dollars in the first quarter of next year. What gives WWE optimal confidence in negotiations is based on the new contract that NASCAR signed with the NBC Sports Group over the summer. For those unaware, the NASCAR deal, which goes into effect in 2015, is for 10 years and is worth a total of $4.5 billion.
Vince McMahon likens WWE to that of NASCAR but feels they will get a bigger deal because their programming is higher rated. WWE’s current domestic television contracts for Raw and Smackdown are not up until the latter part of next year but the company is well-ahead of the curve and is expected to announce the new deal by April 2014. Vince expects to have the deal in place by the first of the year.
It’s WWE’s hope to remain with NBC Universal, their current partner for Raw and Smackdown, but they will look at other outlets should they be unable to reach a new agreement. Given the fact WWE is this optimistic about signing what would be considered a landmark deal, any rumors of Raw and/or Smackdown becoming exclusives on the WWE Network seem highly unlikely. While the potential WWE Network would give WWE a permanent outlet for their programming, at least their core shows are set to be featured on outside networks.
Eric Bischoff Essentially Sent Home
One topic of discussion going around in TNA Wrestling is the status of Eric Bischoff. The company is distancing from Bischoff and are willing to pay him what he’s owed, while keeping him as far away as possible. It’s interesting that Bischoff’s friend and partner Jason Hervey remains with company as of this writing. While there is no way of confirming Bischoff is definitely finished with TNA, it’s pretty much impossible to be a television show’s “Executive Producer” from home.
Many of you probably remember the political war behind the scenes in TNA for years involved Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff vs. Jeff Jarrett & Vince Russo. When Russo was relieved as the head of TNA creative, the war was seen to be won by Hogan and Bischoff and the company went along with another one of their ideas, which was taking Impact on the road. Now with Hogan gone and Bischoff likely to follow, Jarrett is very active backstage once again. The creative team remains a mix of John Gaburick, Dave Lagana and Matt Conway.
John Cena Blows Everyone Away
John Cena was heavily put over by WWE officials and his co-workers for his work at Hell in a Cell and this week’s Raw and Smackdown. One observer labeled him as “super human” and said regardless of his position and favor from Vince, there’s no way that you can’t respect someone willing and able to work at such a high level only a couple months from having surgery to repair a serious injury. We’re told the match on this week’s Smackdown is one of the better matches of his entire career.