We reported recently that Dave Meltzer noted that FOX wasn’t happy about WWE not pushing harder to sign CM Punk with FOX even offering to step in to help negotiations.
In a further update, Fightful is reporting that WWE's relationship is further strained with FOX as the network is disappointed with WWE’s viewership compared to what they had hoped when they first signed them to a billion-dollar broadcasting deal.
FOX at the time of signing their deal was hoping SmackDown on Friday night could pull in around 3.3 million viewers on average, but apart from their debut episode on the network which scored 3.9 million viewers they generally average around 2 million viewers.
In addition to viewership, FOX is not "over the moon" that WWE advertises other streaming services during SmackDown such as Peacock which is owned by their rival NBCUniversal. WWE does this as they need to advertise their pay-per-view events since the WWE Network shut down in the United States. WWE feels if FOX really didn't want them to advertise other streaming services they should have made a play to secure the rights to their PPVs as NBCUniversal did.
The report goes on to note that FOX owner Rupert Murdoch is going to be portrayed in a less-than-flattering way in the upcoming scripted Vince McMahon series (The United States of America vs. Vince McMahon). The move is being described as a "childish move" by WWE, although it does note that Vince McMahon had one call with Rupert recently and the subjected wasn't discussed, and the Murdoch family has "great respect" for the McMahon family and vice versa.
In more positive news, FOX is happy with how WWE has made a real effort to stack the roster since fans have returned to live events.
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