Over the last couple of months, WWE had actively discussed the potential sale of their pay-per-view rights with major players in the market. ESPN turned out to be the frontrunner to sign the agreement with WWE despite Amazon being the close favorite to clinch the deal.
On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer discussed the reason why Loop Capital downgraded WWE stock yesterday – the bottomline is, WWE’s talks with ESPN are now “dead”.
“They believe that the deal which propped the stock back up, at least a little bit the deal that they’re gonna sell their pay-per-view rights — the big sale before the end of the quarter. Their belief is that the deal is dead.”
As reported earlier, Vince McMahon demanded a ridiculous figure that’s far greater than ESPN’s deal with UFC. This could be the likely reason for the potential WWE-ESPN deal falling through. It is to be noted that Mr. McMahon reportedly considers his pay-per-views to be of far greater value than the outrageous $1.5 billion ESPN is paying to stream UFC on ESPN+.
Meanwhile, WWE has taped a lot of content through WrestleMania 36 to ensure a steady flow of weekly content just in case the coronavirus situation forces them to shut things down. The company has managed to film RAW, SmackDown and content for 205 Live during the WrestleMania 36 taping this week.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that in order to keep the headcount under 50, WWE used a skeleton crew for RAW at the WWE Performance Center. Only Vince, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, Kevin Dunn and a few other essential people were at the training facility for the taping.
“They used a skeleton crew to keep within guidelines and only a few producers were brought in for the week. At Raw, it was only Vince, Kevin Dunn, Heyman and Levesque running things.”