UPDATED: No New TV Rights Deal Announced Between NBC Universal and WWE
Posted by Larry Csonka on 02.18.2014
More on the story...
UPDATED:Variety has a new report on the WWE/NBC Universal story, noting that WWE is looking at the possibility of airing all shows with a single umbrella of networks or splitting them across multiple network owners.
The article also notes that USA Network earns the lowest "CPMs," which basically translates to revenue per commercial, for Raw than for any other program. That means that it has to find ways to boost it if they want to get the kinds of licensing fees that sports organizations like the NFL and NBA get, though it does point out that Raw still helps deliver high ratings and that Smackdown is a very valuable show for SyFy.
ORIGINAL: According to Variety, NBC Universal and WWE did not reach a new deal for the WWE's TV rights during the exclusive negotiating period that ended on Friday. WWE released the following statement on the situation…
"WWE's exclusive negotiating period with NBCU for our flagship television programs Raw and Smackdown has now expired. 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."
Unless a new deal is announced, Raw and Smackdown will stay on USA and SyFy through September 30th. NBC Universal has the right to match any offer WWE receives.