WWE confirms its first positive coronavirus test, but will keep running live TV shows for now per multiple reports.
TSC News editor Fred Richani discusses an unnamed WWE on-air talent testing positive for coronavirus aka COVID-19 per Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com and Ryan Satin of ProWrestlingSheet.com / WWE Backstage on FS1. Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer also reports that as of press time, Vince McMahon is insistent on running live Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown, and WWE NXT shows at the empty WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL despite the pandemic being no where near over. Of course, things can change daily given the dire situation, but it is believed WWE is proceeding with shows despite the obvious risks due to TV contracts.
From F4W: Contracts with both NBC Universal and Fox call for a certain number of shows per year that can be taped. For Raw, that number is three which, at the start of the year, was earmarked for one show over Christmas week and two shows during European tours. In theory, that would leave them with 49 live Raws. Fox has a similar deal.
While nobody will say so publicly, the fear was that by violating the contract, it would give the networks the legal ability to withhold money or find a way to change the deals. With no house shows, the company, like all sports companies, is surviving largely based on television revenue, but the networks paying that are also taking in far less revenue than they projected at this point in time due to the pandemic.