Since the coronavirus outbreak, WWE had been forced to make changes to the presentation of their TV shows since they are running inside of an empty Performance Center in Orlando instead of packed arenas for Raw and SmackDown.
The reasons for why they have moved to the Performance Center have not been talked about on WWE television and many fans may have noticed that announcers have avoided saying the word “coronavirus.” I asked about this and the reason is simple. A WWE source told me the following:
“There is no weird conspiracy or weird reason for it. I know fans like to get on him about his list of banned words but this time the reason why he banned coronavirus is he feels it reminds people of the bad stuff they see on the news every day. His thinking on this is fans at home want to escape from that for a few hours so he told the announcers not to say the word. That is it, simple as that.”
I also asked about McMahon’s decision to not postpone Raw and SmackDown tapings. No one I spoke with knows for sure but the speculation in the company is that with television ad revenue dropping because of the outbreak and with budgets being slashed, there are clauses in TV contracts that allow networks to cut back on rights fees if they are not getting content that was agreed to.
DAZN, for example, is holding back on rights fees to league partners who have not provided content that is contractually obligated. Bellator MMA would lose out on money owed to them since they have had to cancel shows. WWE is still providing content so they are no danger of losing their rights fees from the USA Network.