WWE and NBCUniversal are close to finalizing a new television deal, but nothing has been signed yet, according to an exclusive report by Variety.com. It was widely expected that a new deal would be announced at this afternoon's NBCUniversal "upfronts" event - where television companies pitch their upcoming programming lineups to advertisers and the media.
Variety reports that the holdup is that WWE CEO Vince McMahon is pushing for quicker access to digital rights of WWE programming. Specifically, WWE wants RAW and SmackDown to be available on the WWE Network shortly after the shows air on USA Network and Sci-Fi.
The new TV deal "should be completed shortly" - and as of 2:30pm EST, there is still some hope that an agreement will be announced this afternoon in New York City.
While financial terms of the negotiations have not been made public yet, the belief is that WWE will be able double their current rate of approximately $140 million per year for WWE programming.
McMahon has assured investors multiple times that he strongly expects to "double or triple" their rights fees - so anything less than double could have a devastating impact on WWE's stock value.