NBCUniversal’s exclusive negotiating period over the rights to WWE programming expired last week, according to the New York Post.
With “no deal in sight” and mounting pressure to get a deal done this week, an industry source told the Post:
“NBCU has until Friday, Feb. 14, to respond to WWE’s final offer.”
Later this week, WWE will be free to negotiate with other media companies like Viacom and FOX over the future home of its television programming.
For the first time ever, WWE will be negotiating all of its programming (RAW, SmackDown, Main Event, Total Divas, Saturday Morning Slam) in a package deal. WWE Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Michelle Wilson told Variety back in December:
“We’re letting the marketplace determine if it’s interested in all or piece … We’ve had to evolve our thinking. We are clearly entertainment-based, but if you think about the characteristics of our brand, it’s live action, and that’s sports. We want to be compensated for a live audience, since live content is getting a very significant premium in the marketplace.”
The previous TV deal was priced at $139.5 million per year. WWE is looking to get 2-3 times that with the new deal.