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Big update on WWE TV negotiations; Could Raw really leave USA Network?

There has been alot of talk about WWE’s TV negotiations. The only new network that has emerged beyond the ones already talked about is WGN. Dave Meltzer noted that one person that is following the situation noted that the key for WGN would be that they believe that adding WWE would help them expand their audience. WGN is currently in 73 million homes out of 99 million cable homes. If they get WWE and are able to expand their audience then perhaps they would be able to increase their cable provider carriage fees.

WGN was reportedly one of the high bidders for the “Breaking Bad” spinoff titled “Better Call Saul” so they are definitely willing to spend money to increase the value of their network. WGN was also the only bidder for WWE programming in 2008 besides USA. The problem with WGN is that most people don’t watch the station and 26 percent of the Raw audience doesn’t get the station.

Also, one of the key things WWE is looking for in negotiations is rights to air replays of Raw and Smackdown on the WWE Network. Under the current deal with USA they can only air an edited version on Hulu and they have to wait 30 days before putting the shows on the network.

There appears to be nothing to the merger rumors but there is concern from investors over what would happen if something happens to Vince McMahon. They feel that Stephanie McMahon has taken a step back and they don’t feel that Triple H could be the CEO of a public company. Vince has been training him but Triple H only has very limited experience in a management position. There are also questions on George Barrios knowledge of the moder media landscape and the pro wrestling business. There are also questions about Michelle Wilson’s wrestling knowledge. Both of them are going to be responsible to some degree if the WWE Network fails and if they don’t double their TV revenue.

Information from the Wrestling Observer newsletter was used in this report. Please visit WrestlingObserver.com for subscription information.






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