We have an update on the television deal negotiations for WWE and UFC via Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
As we previously reported, Triple H (Paul Levesque) met with FOX Sports several months back for what was a preliminary meeting.
FOX currently own the rights to air UFC. There is speculation that the company won’t sign UFC, forcing them to move to another network.
If this happens, FOX are very likely to go after the rights to WWE because they need more air time to fill on FS 1 and FS2, which currently depends a lot on UFC content.
Meltzer notes that there is talk FOX may purchase WWE, so they have the company for good and don’t have to worry about television rights in any capacity in the future.
Viacom has also been reportedly interested in the world of professional wrestling. They, like FOX, want to own WWE if they went for it. This is again for the same reason as FOX, to maintain the rights to the programming WWE provides.
It is believed that Vince McMahon isn’t interested in selling his majority interest just yet, though if shares go higher, he may be able to sell pieces off and maintain full voting control.
If WWE content were to move to FOX, it is believed that it may give the company a level of exposure to make it hugely popular again and give the WWE Network more legitimacy. In addition to this, it would be expected that ‘Raw’ would go from 3 hours every Monday to 2 hours as FOX stations usually have a newscast at 10PM.
If FOX signs UFC, this would become far less likely. While it isn’t impossible to have both WWE and UFC on the same Network and could benefit everyone involved, issues will likely arise.
Meltzer explains that FOX is focused on live programming, news and sports right now. Their UFC offer of just over $200 million isn’t much bigger than what they already pay the company.
This is not much more than WWE is currently being paid by the USA Network. It is also be a lot less than what WWE is expected to get for the new television deal. Some have projected WWE could get $400 million for the deal.
For UFC, they want the deal completed by now but there is no sign of an agreement being met at this time.
WWE have said they want the decision to be made on where they go by May of this year, even though a potential move wouldn’t be until October of 2019.
We have provided the hilarious advertisement WWE released when ‘Smackdown Live’ was scheduled to move to the USA Network down below.
Where do you expect WWE and UFC to go? Do you see WWE getting more popular with a potential move to FOX?
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