WWE has two massive television deals due to kick off in October. Although RAW will remain on USA Network, they are still paying far more for the show and SmackDown is moving to Fox. These two five-year deals are worth a reported $1 billion each.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that WWE is telling Superstars that they will be getting more money from new contracts when the upcoming television deals start. This is due to the fact that the economy of the wrestling business is changing for WWE.
They are no longer a house show driven business because of so much money coming in from television. The art of pay-per-view buys is also practically a thing of the past due to the WWE Network. Therefore, the bonuses from house shows and pay-per-views have greatly diminished as well.
“Talent is being told that when the new television money kicks in later this year, that new contracts will be way up from past deals. Because this is no longer a house-show driven and PPV-driven business, but a guaranteed TV rights-driven business, the old way of paying based on house shows and PPV numbers really is an anachronism from an era where to a degree, at least for the top guys, it did make sense.”
There is reportedly talk that WWE Superstar contracts will be like any other sports contract soon where the figure on their deals is what they will make. Any number above what is promised on a contract would be due to the percentage of royalties on merchandise money or other bonuses.