WWE Concerned Over TV Rights Deals Should They Not Go Live
There was speculation WWE was going to be taping a number of their shows this week, including episodes of Raw, SmackDown and NXT, but it appears plans have changed. WWE is planning to resume live TV tapings at the Performance Center starting next week despite Florida’s “stay at home” order.
According to Fightful.com, WWE has issued a letter to all staff and performers stating that they are now being considered “essential media” and this is what they are to tell law enforcement. The letter states that “Newspapers, television, radio and other media” are considered essential services by the state of Florida.
Part of the reason WWE is going to go live is out of fear that they may have issues with their television network contracts. Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com noted that those contracts with both NBC Universal and FOX only allow for a small number of shows to be taped during the calendar year. Meltzer wrote the following:
“While nobody will say so publicly, the fear was that by violating the contract, it would give the networks the legal ability to withhold money or find a way to change the deals. With no house shows, the company, like all sports companies, is surviving largely based on television revenue, but the networks paying that are also taking in far less revenue than they projected at this point in time due to the pandemic.”
Still Mixed Reactions to WWE Forging On
While wrestlers are mixed in their reactions to WWE continuing to produce shows, people behind the scenes are starting to understand what’s going on and there are many commending WWE for being as safe as humanly possible during this time.
Few wrestlers are worried and knowing that there could be massive financial losses should networks pull out of their tv deals, the performers are doing what they can.
It sounds like there will be periods of time where wrestlers will work, then go home and quarantine and then after two weeks, come back and work again. This will also limit the potential of anything spreading.