DirecTV is reportedly unhappy with WWE's plans to launch their online network from February and is considering a rethink with regards to their relationship and whether it will continue to offer monthly pay-per-view events.
WWE has said it will continue to broadcast PPV with cable and satellite operators but with the launch of their online network it will seriously decrease the traditional buyrate which DirecTV reports is declining anyway.
"Clearly we need to quickly re-evaluate the economics and viability of their business with us, as it now appears the WWE feels they do not need their PPV distributors," DirecTV said in a statement, adding that the audience for its events "has been steadily declining, and this new low-cost competitive offering will only accelerate this trend."
In an interview Wednesday, WWE Corp. Chairman Vince McMahon said he thought it was in the interest of the pay-TV operators to continue to carry the pay-per-view events.
"I think it’d be foolish for them not to want to carry the pay-per-view anymore," McMahon said. "It’s found money for them."
A WWE spokesman said in response to DirecTV's statement that, "to the contrary, WWE hopes to continue to be in business with our pay-per-view distributors, ultimately giving our fans the choice between the two offerings."