WWE Facing Its Most Important Six Months Of Television In 17 Years

Justin LaBar

wweI write a wrestling column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review every Monday and Friday. You can find it at TribLIVE.com. 

For today's column I talked about how WWE is facing its most important six months of television since it was in a ratings war with WCW. The following is an excerpt:

WWE announced it has signed a new multi-year deal for the television rights for RAW and SmackDown — but no money has been reported.

WWE will remain with NBC Universal, which keeps Monday Night RAW on USA Network and Friday Night SmackDown on Syfy. Again, no money anywhere in the original Thursday press release.

The watch has been on for months as it's been known WWE would have to sign a new contract with somebody for its television rights. It was talked about that WWE was targeting big money after seeing what NASCAR got in its last negotiations, which came out to be $8.2 billion over 10 years with NBC and FOX.

Whatever WWE got, it didn't feel it was enough to stroke its ego and publish in a press release or alert its shareholders.

If the money was what WWE wanted, you better believe a public party would have been thrown to make sure everyone was looking at where the decimal point is.

These next six months will be the most interesting in WWE television since the company was in a ratings war with WCW 17 years ago.

In addition to the new deal keeping it with NBC Universal, WWE will approach the first genuine judgment day for its coveted WWE Network.

Dark days could be ahead.

When signing up for WWE Network, the hook was this cheap $9.99 price for a six-month commitment. The six months for the earliest of subscribers will expire just after SummerSlam in August.

I felt extremely confident when it came to the WWE Network. All the weeks of anticipation for it to launch after learning of the value subscribers got out of it, I was sure it would be an instant success.

I was wrong.

At last awareness, the WWE Network hadn't exceeded the 1 million mark for subscribers. When people asked me prior to its launch how I thought it would do, I thought for sure it would be at least a few million.

Again, I was wrong.

CLICK HERE For what the future could hold in the next six months for WWE.

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