WWE has been in negotiations with several Television Networks the last few months. WWE has been with NBC Universal for years now, specifically USA Network, where they helped to make it the #1 Network on TV for the better part of a decade. NBC’s contract with the WWE and all of their Television shows ended back in February. Naturally, WWE wanted to stay, and NBC wanted to keep them obviously.
The issue for the WWE came down to money. WWE felt that they were worth more than the around $140 million NBC was paying them for Monday Night RAW, among other shows. NBC has admitted that WWE RAW alone has brought a billion to NBC in just the past two years.
WWE sees this and has made a mere fraction of their worth, when in reality they could be the most consistent show on TV. They bring in several viewers throughout the year, with no re-runs or off-season. They have not missed a beat in years for a show and RAW alone has been on the air for around 20 years, with over 1,000 shows broadcast.
WWE SmackDown is also nearing records, but both shows sit on top of Television history as the two shows with the most amount of episodes.
Television experts feel WWE and NBCU have already signed a new deal to bring all WWE TV properties back to the company. WWE has been broadcasting their Television shows like normal through NBC networks still, but this was done outside of the contract. So, it seems NBCU felt confident that they could get a deal done.
WWE was shopping themselves around a bit to see their value, but like some coaches might do in sports, they never really wanted to leave they place they were. Rather, they just wanted to make more where they already were. On top of that, WWE wanted to get more than what they had show wise as well. WWE has it’s WWE Network open now and realizes that they have a time where they can really be a major force in the entertainment industry. So this deal is as much about the WWE as it is for NBC, who needs the WWE to remain on top with USA among other broadcasting needs.
NBCU and WWE have not announced anything just yet, but WWE may be waiting to allow NBCU to announce the new deal at their upfronts this Thursday in New York. For the last number of years, NBCU has held their cable upfront parties separately, but this year will be holding one big event for all 17 of their channels including the USA Network, Bravo, E!, Oxygen and others.
WWE executives told anyone that asked that they hoped to have a new deal signed by May, as well as have it announced within the month too. So if NBCU announces the new deal this week, it would come as no surprise. WWE hoped to sign back on with NBC, now they may have. This despite rumored interest from Discovery and even Disney.