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DirecTV, WWFE ready to rumble - Broadcasting & Cable

DirecTV, WWFE ready to rumble

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A dispute between World Wrestling Federation Entertainment and DirecTV is escalating with WWFE yanking PPV events away from the DBS service.

WWFE notified fans after August 12th's 'SummerSlam' that events
will no longer be available on DirecTV, and suggested they turn to EchoStar or
cable to get access to September's event.

The two companies have for months been working on renewing their existing
distribution deal.

Though he wouldn't provide details, DirecTV programming acquisitions vice
president Michael Thorton said that there is an outstanding issue from the last
deal in which DirecTV is seeking to recover money that's already been paid.

DirecTV wants to sign a new deal and submit the dispute to an arbitrator.

Thorton said that WWFE want give up on the issue or DirecTV won't get any
more programs.

'They've said `we're not going to go forward with you if your don't drop
it,'' Thorton said. 'Contrary to what they're saying, they're not
negotiating.'

WWFE President Stuart Snyder said that 'It's regrettable that DirecTV has
resorted to litigation' and that in order to keep its fans happy the company
will help and encourage them in finding 'alternate means to get our September
event.'

That match, 'Unforgiven', is scheduled for Sept. 23.

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