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February 18, 2014

No New TV Licensing Deal Between WWE and NBCU … Yet

“WWE’s exclusive negotiating period with NBCU for our flagship television programs, ‘Raw’ and ‘SmackDown,’ has now expired,” WWE said in a statement. The exclusive window was available to NBCU through Feb. 15, giving the company the opportunity to accept or reject WWE’s final offer.

“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 will now start negotiating with other companies, although a new deal with NBCU could still be brokered once it sees what other networks are willing to pay. WWE is considering multiple plans for its shows: airing them all with a single family of networks or splitting them up across multiple network owners.

Either way, the company is looking to significantly increase the $139.5 million in TV licensing fees WWE earns each year for its shows, and attempt to get closer to the rich network deals that sports organizations like the NBA, NHL NASCAR, as well as soccer command.

source: variety.com


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