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February 14, 2014

One of the Biggest Days in WWE History Today


Today will be looked back upon as one of the most historic dates in the history of professional wrestling as at the end of business today, Comcast's exclusivity to negotiate a new TV deal with WWE will end - setting off a chain of events that will tell the tale of the future of professional wrestling.

Once WWE receives Comcast's new offer for keeping their broadcast partnership and exclusivity going forward, WWE can choose to sign the new deal or open the negotiations up for outside entities to bid on the WWE programming.

As we've noted before, WWE smartly timed this so that all of their cable series - Raw, Smackdown, Total Divas, Main Event - as well as a potentially resurrected Saturday Morning Slam - are part of the negotiations, allowing WWE to move everything as one monster package, similar to what major sports leagues such as the NBA and NASCAR do with their programming partners.

Several months back, Variety noted that WWE had reached out or had meetings with A&E, Disney, Viacom, 21st Century Fox and Discovery about potential broadcast partnerships.

Comcast will have the chance to match any outside offers, according to reports in the NYC media, so even if another entity comes in with a big offer, they will have a chance to keep WWE under their umbrella.

WWE intends to announce their new deal in April or May. Should programming need to move from Comcast to another partner, that would come in early October.

Nothing is certain yet, except this: WWE will be receiving the highest premium for their programming ever, which will be a major positive for their bottom line.

source: pwinsider.com

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