Recently, SmackDown Live! just got a new deal with Fox Network for broadcasting rights. The deal is rumored to be a 5-year deal worth about $1 billion. The staggering amount of money injected means WWE must produce a show worthy of it. This could change how WWE will perceive televised content and could change the landscape of WWE’s booking.
TV Ratings Over PPVs?
“It doesn’t matter. They literally could cancel every house show from this point forward and never run another house show again it doesn’t matter. Shut down the WWE Network, it doesn’t matter. They could stop selling merchandise it doesn’t matter.”
Pay Per View has been the main attraction of the WWE since it’s creation as the WWF. Everything that they do on a weekly basis culminates to Pay Per View. This concept makes WrestleMania the biggest and the most successful wrestling event. But with this new deal with Fox, WWE might shift its resources towards a weekly television show, as this deal will be a large chunk of WWE’s yearly income.
Bryan Alvarez during his show “Wrestling Observer Live” said with conviction, “It doesn’t matter. They literally could cancel every house show from this point forward and never run another house show again it doesn’t matter. Shut down the WWE Network, it doesn’t matter. They could stop selling merchandise it doesn’t matter.” He further added, “If you think they’re going to save the big matches for the WWE Network those days are over. Everything is about television now. You understand? Everything is going to be about television. So it’s going to be a new era of wrestling. There’s going to be WWE booking and there’s going to be booking for every other promotion in the world.”
Future of WWE Network
It seems that the WWE will keep their subscription-based network alive, as most of their fans engage with content here. But there’s potential closure still hovering around, as reduction of sales could make WWE think that the network isn’t as profitable anymore and will focus more on being a television show. The closure will not come in the near future, at least as WWE still promotes their network content on this week’s RAW.
Is WWE’s potential change of focus the best for the fans?
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