WWE's Deal to Sell Pay-Per-View Streaming Rights Reportedly Dead

Vince McMahon made the surprising announcement during an investor's conference call back in February that WWE was looking to sell its pay-per-view streaming rights to another major over-the-top streaming service in the near future. At the time he made it sound like the deal was almost finalized, saying, ""We also have an option right now, there's no more better time to exercise the selling of our rights to all the majors who, quite frankly, all the majors are really clamoring for our content. ... Making reference to OTT and the interest of the major players, we'd be announcing that deal if we go that way, in the first quarter, that's how far along we are."

However, Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio that those talks are now "dead" despite WWE recently signing a deal with ESPN to run WrestleMania 30, 32 and 35 on its main channel (the first of which drew excellent ratings).

Meltzer discussed the deal after pointing out how Loop Capital had downgraded WWE's stock from Hold to Sell on the belief that that deal wasn't happening, causing the stock to take another hit.

"Their reason was that they believe the deal, which propped the stock back up a little bit, the deal that they were going to sell their pay-per-view rights whether Peacock, ESPN or DAZN before the end of the quarter, their belief is that the deal is dead," he said.

"The word I had was that they were far apart on money, but not that it was dead by any means," Meltzer added. "... [Alan Gould] saying that and enough that it downgrades the stock and WWE not coming out and disagreeing, that's saying something."

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WrestleMania 36 will air on the WWE Network on April 4-5. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the show has seen a massive wave of changes in recent weeks. The event will take place inside an empty WWE Performance Center (and other closed sets) and was reportedly pre-taped this week. Other events scheduled for WrestleMania weekend have either been outright canceled (NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay) or postponed (the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, which has reportedly been bumped to SummerSlam weekend).

Here's the WrestleMania 36 card as of now:

  • WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Drew McIntyre
  • WWE Universal Championship: Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns
  • Edge vs. Randy Orton [Last Man Standing]
  • John Cena vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt
  • NXT Women's Championship: Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair
  • Raw Women's Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler
  • Raw Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits vs. Andrade & Angel Garza
  • SmackDown Women's Championship: Bayley vs. Lacey Evans vs. Tamina vs. Naomi vs. Sasha Banks
  • SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Miz & John Morrison vs. The New Day or The Usos
  • The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles (Boneyard Match)
  • Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
  • Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley
  • Elias vs. King Corbin

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