WWE TV News: Deadline nearing on NBCUniversal deal
The New York Post is reporting that NBCUniversal, the corporate parent of USA Network and the SyFy Channel, has a Feb. 14 deadline to respond to an offer from WWE related to the contract to broadcast Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.
The report did not state what WWE’s asking price is, but industry reports have suggested that the current deal between WWE and NBCUniversal is at $140 million, so it’s fair to assume that WWE will be expecting a higher rights fee for its new deal.
Reports suggest that WWE is looking to at least double the current contract.
An exclusive negotiating period for NBCUniversal related to the contract negotiation expired on Feb. 1. As part of the negotiations, NBCUniversal reportedly offered to build a standing WWE Hall of Fame at its Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Fla.
If the two sides don’t come to a deal before Feb. 14, NBCUniversal does have matching rights should a rival TV company come to a deal with WWE, according to the Post.
Executives at Viacom, which owns SpikeTV, the home to Monday Night Raw from 2003-2005 and currently home to rival TNA Impact Wrestling, and Turner Broadcasting, the former home to now-defunct World Championship Wrestling, bought out in 2001 by WWE, are said to have interest should NBCUniversal fall out of the picture.