NBC Universal’s exclusive negotiating period for WWE’s domestic television rights ends on February 1, 2014 and the New York Post is reporting the company is considering a deal sweetener. According to the report, that sweetener is a physical Hall of Fame at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
The hot topic in WWE in addition to the launch of the forthcoming WWE Network is the company’s upcoming historic domestic TV licensing agreement to remain on cable television. WWE is looking to more than double their current $140 million-a-year deal as investors criticize their programming is vastly undervalued. While Vince McMahon hopes to remain with NBCU, WWE has the right to accept or reject their offer by February 15, 2014. At that point other companies would be able to bid until February 28, 2014 and WWE must make a decision by March 4, 2014 for a potential move this fall.
The interesting thing regarding a physical WWE Hall of Fame at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida is negotiations for such a venue are not new. The hangup on a deal getting done last year was the fact WWE wanted exclusive rights to the theme park, a move Universal was reluctant to grant unless WWE agreed to tape a show there. They had a good relationship with TNA and didn’t want to blackball them without a full commitment from WWE.
The fact that TNA does not have any upcoming dates at Universal Studios to tape Impact is telling as Universal might be reluctant to book Impact TVs until NBCU is able to finish negotiations with WWE for a new domestic TV licensing agreement.
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