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The 7 - Movies & TV - Broadcasting & Cable: USA Ponders Tag-Teaming with WWE
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CRZ
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#1 Posted on 3.4.05 2324.34
Reposted on: 3.4.12 2324.52
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA514334.html?display=Breaking+News&referral=SUPP

I guess nobody told them WrestleMania was tonight.

Anyway...


    USA Ponders Tag-Teaming With WWE

    By Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/3/2005 9:25:00 PM

    Will the possibility of "Vince McMahon: The Ride" help USA Network land a TV deal with World Wrestling Entertainment? The network is laying out plenty of inducements -- including an affiliation with parent company NBC Universal's theme parks -- in its negotiations.

    Unfortunately, the network is not laying out a lot of money.

    USA Network lost WWE's main attraction, Monday night prime time matches, to Spike TV in 2000. But with WWE's ratings fading on Spike, which has found the off-network rights to CBS hit CSI a more reliable investment, new Spike President Doug Herzog is not pursuing a new deal with WWE Chairman McMahon, though he does have the right to match any USA offer. (USA Network would not comment on the negotiations, and a WWE spokesman could not be reached.)

    SEC filings show that WWE was collecting $31 million annually from Spike TV, but WWE sold the ad time itself. Industry executives say that USA isn't offering any big hike in the fee, instead relying on deal sweeteners, such as matches carried on NBC U's Telemundo Spanish-language network; wrestling specials on NBC; and wrestling-based attractions and promotions at Universals theme parks.

    When USA Network lost the rights five years ago, Spike offered its own enticements, including a plan to publish wrestling books and schedule a wrestling-based reality show on Viacom sibling MTV. But Spike also tripled WWE's license fee.

    WWE isn't quite the treasure it was back then, when USA Network rushed to court to try to stop Spike (then called TNN). Ratings are down by almost half, from a peak Nielsen household rating of 6.0 to 3.4 today.

    However, the Monday matches remain one of the biggest draws on cable and are a magnet for young male viewers, so rasslin's hardly on the ropes.
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The Thrill
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#2 Posted on 4.4.05 0538.28
Reposted on: 4.4.12 0546.48
    Originally posted by Broadcasting & Cable
    >Will the possibility of "Vince McMahon: The Ride" help USA Network land a TV deal with World Wrestling Entertainment?


Wasn't that the roller coaster they used to call "The Genetic Jackhammer?"


    Originally posted by Broadcasting & Cable
    ...deal sweeteners, such as matches carried on NBC U's Telemundo Spanish-language network; wrestling specials on NBC...


Dare we hope for the return of Saturday Night's Main Event or CRZ's beloved Los Super Astros?

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#3 Posted on 4.4.05 1007.30
Reposted on: 4.4.12 1007.36
Why won't they refer to RAW by name, instead calling it "Monday night prime time matches" throughout the story? Is there some kind of legal reason or what?
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#4 Posted on 4.4.05 1138.28
Reposted on: 4.4.12 1141.07
The thing that gets me is that nowhere in this article is Smackdown mentioned... would the greater Viacom group still keep that show on UPN (which I believe I read they weren't interested in)?
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#5 Posted on 4.4.05 1156.49
Reposted on: 4.4.12 1159.02
    Originally posted by Evil Buddha
    The thing that gets me is that nowhere in this article is Smackdown mentioned... would the greater Viacom group still keep that show on UPN (which I believe I read they weren't interested in)?
The Smackdown contract is still far from over...we won't get any stories on this front until 2006.
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#6 Posted on 4.4.05 1518.27
Reposted on: 4.4.12 1519.24
Correct me if I'm wrong, but USA was not under the NBC umbrella in 2000, right? I gotta think that this package, though maybe not for $40 million, is much more enticing than whatever Viacom will/has/would have offered.


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#7 Posted on 4.4.05 1910.50
Reposted on: 4.4.12 1911.08
    Originally posted by BigSteve
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but USA was not under the NBC umbrella in 2000, right? I gotta think that this package, though maybe not for $40 million, is much more enticing than whatever Viacom will/has/would have offered.





NBC took control of USA on Thursday, May 13, 2004. (Thursday before the upfront.)

NBC Uni doesn't bring as much potential to the table as Viacom did (radio, billboards, multiple cable outlets like MTV) but CBS never explored most of those opportunities (and the Fed's brief affair with CBS Radio/WW1 actually happened several years before the Viacom deal when they did a couple pre-PPV specials on Saturday nights.) The difference is that CBS just saw WWE as a hot property to try to exploit, while NBC has a deeper relationship: SNME, Warren Littlefield's 1998 obsession with Raw (while his counterparts were drooling over Felicity, he told Variety that wrestling was what he wanted to get his hands on before anything else.)

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#8 Posted on 5.4.05 1845.53
Reposted on: 5.4.12 1846.34
The WWE should take this deal if for no other reason than to get away from Viacom.
NBC has shown that it is willing to work to promote their show even between different cable channels. Viacom only seems to want to push CBS shows.
Plus any group that came up with the brillaint plan the Spike TV had at roll out is someone you don't want to partner with.
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