Could the WWE really be thinking about airing WrestleMania on television instead of on pay-per-view as they have done for decades? If so, it would be one of the biggest changes to professional wrestling since WWE launched its WWE Network and changed the way fans were able to access the vast WWE library and original content, including the more than 12 pay-per-views the sports entertainment brand offers each calendar year.
Ringsidenews is reporting, “WWE is not interested in airing other pay-per-views on broadcast television but they could be open to the idea of putting WrestleMania up for open bidding.” This would be largely thanks to the two massive television deals WWE is rumored to have signed this week that would see Raw stay with NBCUniversal and SmackDown Live move to Fox. Both deals were worth hundreds of millions more than their previous tv deals and that must have WWE thinking.
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) May 25, 2018
Recent rumors that WWE is considering extending the length of WrestleMania 35 to seven hours may have some connection to a television play but it would be interesting to see which cable networks would really be interested in airing seven hours of consecutive WWE programming. Would that be too much? Or, would a network like Fox or NBC be open to knowing that a full Sunday night line-up could be filled by one deal and the ratings would be huge.
The alternative would be the network airing a condensed version of the show later in the week after it airs on the WWE Network Live.
To many, WrestleMania is the biggest spectacle in entertainment. It’s like the SuperBowl for the NFL or the Oscars for awards shows. The money WWE just made from selling their two biggest shows — Raw and SmackDown Live — for renewal in 2019 make it understandable they might be thinking what else they could do. Business is business and WWE has always been a company quick to notice the new trends. If so, this is a massive change which would be great for WWE fans who still have to pay just under $100 to watch it on traditional pay-per-views platforms.