WWE News: ITV is signing up performers that WWE is interested in
Are we about to witness a war between the two promotions in the UK?
There might be a promotional war brewing between ITV and the WWE in the UK, according to the Wrestling Observer News.
In his latest report, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer says that ITV is signing up all of its performers that WWE is interested in. He added that there are way more benefits in the ITV contract than the one with WWE because of their absurd clauses, where independent contracts do not get proper healthcare facilities or proper employment rights.
ITV is currently looking at exclusive deals in the UK, at least as it pertains to television. They recently recorded a pilot episode of their ‘World of Sport’, which is reported to go on-air sometime in December with Jim Ross as the host.
The report claims that the promotion's idea (that is still in the works) is to tape again in mid-February and film about 13 episodes in a short period of time; something along the lines of the TNA. It plans to do one episode per day and wrap up the schedule in a couple of weeks.
However, they are also considering shooting two episodes a day, to complete it in a week’s time.
ITV is the No. 2 network in the UK and is free to air for residents, giving the show a potential audience of about a million viewers. On the other hand, WWE airs on Sky Sports in the UK and has a viewership of only 150,000 people.
ITV’s move has forced the WWE to make some of their own in the market. The American promotion has sent out contracts to their prospective talents, for mainly small retainer guarantees, who have been told that they would be filming a somewhat similar version of the Cruiserweight Classic for the European market, in early January.
The company also called a press conference at the O2 Arena in London to announce its intentions of airing a weekly show on the WWE Network featuring British talent.
The contracts that were given out by WWE clearly specify that the talent can work for groups outside the promotion as these aren’t full-time deals, but WWE would get the first call on their services. Furthermore, the performers cannot work with any promotional with television in the US.
It is interesting to note that ITV sent out contract amendments to all its talents saying that it would not allow them to appear on any other TV stations as well.
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