ESPN Upset With WWE Over Peacock Streaming Deal, Makes Decision To Ban Company

While the WWE deal with NBCU to move the WWE Network to Peacock is good value for WWE, one company is not very happy with the deal. That company is ESPN and reports are they've taken their first steps to hit back.

WWE's $1 billion deal with Peacock will bring an end to the WWE Network for U.S. customers but will guarantee $200 million in revenue for the wrestling promotion per year over the next five years. That decision isn't coming without a consequence. According to Dave Meltzer, he's reporting on Wrestling Observer Live that ESPN has "pretty much shut down" coverage of the wrestling company.

Meltzer is reporting Wrestling Observer Radio that ESPN was in talks with WWE about purchasing the Network and because it went to a competitor, ESPN has introduced a ban on WWE. Meltzer added: "It's got nothing to do with wrestling... They didn't ban wrestling but it was just like WWE. I don't know if that means they will do anything with them (AEW) but the ban I was told was WWE."

WWE and NBCUniversal reached an agreement to give the Peacock streaming service exclusive rights to WWE Network in the United States. That move will take place on March 18 and the first event will be the Fastlane pay-per-view on March 21. It's not entirely clear when ESPN will ban WWE's content or if that ban is "official" but they seem unhappy that WWE moved so quickly in another direction after the sports channel found out they weren't going to come to an agreement three weeks ago.

Future Business With ESPN In Question

That ESPN will no longer carry WWE programming isn't probably wonderful news for Vince McMahon and co. But, it's not entirely clear where that relationship stands between the two parties.

How this affects ESPN and WWE business dealings in the future is unclear. Last February it was rumored WWE and ESPN had talked about potentially moving pay-per-view events to the ESPN+ platform. Those talks stopped when the COVID-19 pandemic became a major issue.

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