At this point, one of the greatest concessions in WWE’s upcoming move to USA will be the loss of two of its weekend programs. Although the move is so far away that a second show could still be figured into the deal, USA reportedly only has interest in running Heat. None of WWE’s weekend shows deliver in the ratings and USA does not want to sacrifice its strong mix of original programming, Law & Order and movies for programs that cannot perform.
Even though WWE will lose quite a bit of guaranteed ad revenue, Vince McMahon is happy with the deal because he feels it gives an opportunity for an increase in ratings and reputation. Sources close to the situation indicate WWE is desperately trying to court advertisers of a higher-class, and the feeling is that USA’s anticipated marketing blitz for the return of RAW, coupled with the NBC specials, will give WWE an increased opportunity to move up the ladder.
WWE remains confident that the Telemundo exposure for RAW will improve WWE’s connections with the Hispanic market. While there are Hispanic currently watching WWE, the feeling is that WWE needs to do a better job of attracting such fans and can definitely benefit from Telemundo.
Although Spike TV will never admit it publicly, many believe the network knew they could not provide enough money to compensate for the extras in the USA package, so opted to pull out.