Over the past several weeks, WWE has shown the benefits of having a PG program by the mega deals that both the Raw and SmackDown Live reached with NBC and FOX, respectively, totaling over $2 billion. The blue brand is scheduled to move over to FOX in October of 2019.
Former WCW President Eric Bischoff was interviewed by the New York Post to share his thoughts on the major FOX deal. As the result of the WWE deals, Bischoff sees very little opportunities for promotions such as Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling to reach high-paying agreements from big companies. Although ROH, owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, is shown on FOX affiliates, it is only in limited markets. In addition, Viacom decided to draw away from wrestling in 2014, as TNA left Spike TV.
Bischoff commented on how difficult it will be for any other company to land a mega deal.
"Anybody who comes along and wants to sell a wrestling show, guess who you are not gonna sell it to? You are not going to sell it to FOX and any of its affiliates and, oh by the way, you are not going to sell it to NBC Universal or any of its affiliates," said Bischoff. "So the world in terms of one's ability to sell a traditional [wrestling] television show to a traditional television or broadcast partner has just collapsed."
Despite the big-money deals landed, Bischoff still believes that promotions other that the WWE juggernaut can be successful. Especially, with the free streaming outlets such as YouTube and Facebook.
"You no longer have to have a big record label behind you and have to kowtow to the politics that enabled you to get there," said Bischoff. "You can be a phenomenal artist and put your stuff out there on YouTube and find yourself becoming a star."
Although Raw and SmackDown Live are able to showcase the respective brands exclusively more than ever with going to different networks, Bischoff feels that there could be a point of contention with separate networks, especially if there is a ratings dip or a breakout star only appearing on one network.
"That's when the executive wolves come out of the cage and start wanting something to say about how WWE is writing and producing its content," said Bischoff.
Despite these potential hurdles, Bischoff feels that these TV deals can lead to more pay-per-view quality matches, and producing "things on television that you wouldn't have imagined a couple years ago."
Source: New York Post