It was reported last week that the decision made by Vince McMahon to broadcast episodes of Raw and SmackDown live at the Performance Center upset a significant portion of the WWE roster.
The preferred option for the wrestlers in terms of health and safety is believed to be similar to what AEW is doing, where talent would be brought into the PC for a few days every month to pre-tape a bunch of shows.
However, could Vince McMahon’s hand have been forced by the USA and FOX into producing live shows instead of pre-taped ones? According to Dave Meltzer, it may have been.
Meltzer is reporting that WWE’s television contracts with NBC and FOX seemingly allow for only a very small number of episodes to be taped in one calendar year. For example, NBC allows WWE to pre-tape only three episodes of Raw per year.
Meltzer goes on to say that while it is unclear whether the networks specifically asked Vince to put on live shows, he may be forced into doing so to ensure the networks don’t withhold money:
“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.”
Of course, make sure you stay tuned to WrestleTalk.com for the latest on this very interesting story.