WWE has more than their fans to keep in mind when it comes to happiness. They also have network partners to consider. We previously covered how WWE and Fox’s relationship has been a bit strained recently, but their deal with the USA Network seems much better.
Fightful Select released an in-depth report about the USA Network’s reactions to WWE programming. We previously covered how happy they are with NXT 2.0 so far.
We previously covered how Fox isn’t 100% thrilled that Peacock is advertised so much on their network. Some at the USA Network have expressed “counter-concerns” regarding some of the people at Fox who aren’t “over the moon” about WWE using their platform to promote Peacock.
A source we spoke to at USA Network pointed to the Hell in a Cell matches that both aired on Fox and USA Network surrounding the PPV as a look at some of the posturing between networks, and WWE doing their best to work with both sides.
WWE’s relationship with USA Network extends for decades and they share a very long-term connection. USA Network sources reportedly “quickly dismissed the notion of ‘not caring’ about the quality of the program.” They are also well aware of viewership trends and the decline of that viewership as well.
USA Network would like to see the declining viewership of RAW addressed. They are tired of “scapegoats and shortcuts” and would like to see changes now that live fans have returned.
The same source said that there were several at USA who grew tired of “scapegoats and shortcuts” in the two years before the pandemic, and wanted that to change now that live fans have returned.
WWE has tried many things to make RAW more interesting like turning their third hour into a grittier show complete with RAW Underground, guest hosts, shake-ups, and more. Obviously, something with a more sustainable change is wanted.
It was also reported that “Stephanie McMahon has been a big steward of the connection between the two sides.” Stephanie McMahon was invited by NBCUniversal Chairman Mark Lazarus to join him in a 1-on-1 discussion with the Paley Center for Media.
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