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WWE escaped Charter and NBCU’s negotiation battle. For now.

Monday’s Rude Awakening includes the battle between Charter and NBC, free New Japan content, and a look back at a classic Sting moment.

Variety.com

We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.

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Love WWE? Well, you’re here, so there’s a good chance you do. That also means it’s likely you watch RAW and SmackDown weekly on USA Network. And if you watch RAW and SmackDown weekly on USA Network, there is a chance that you do so through a cable company that is owned by Charter Communications. Charter Communications just so happens to be embroiled in a fight with NBCUniversal, who has the current television rights to WWE programming as well as ownership of networks like Bravo, Oxygen, Esquire, and the former home of SmackDown, SyFy. If Charter won’t pay NBCUniversal the price for these channels, then Charter subscribers hoping to watch RAW and SmackDown are going to be out of luck.

They could catch them the next day on Hulu, sure, but the live, full experience is on USA Network, and it won’t be available if negotiations end with Charter or NBCUniversal walking away. The contract already expired on January 1, but talks were extended for an undisclosed length of time. So, if you’re one of the 16 million customers of Charter Communications, you can watch RAW and SmackDown this week, but no one knows about next week, or the week after that.

I happen to be one of those 16 million Americans whose cable is provided by Charter, and also (as you could have figured out) am a wrestling fan. So, there will be a phone call made to Time Warner/Spectrum to discuss what happens with my cable bill when the networks my household watches the most — USA for wrestling, Bravo for Top Chef and the 24/7 reality programming, SyFy for The Expanse and whatever goofy movie is on — are no longer available. Most of the non-Netflix viewing in my household comes from NBCU channels, and if they aren’t available, well, Charter isn’t for us anymore. The only way they’ll think NBCU’s price makes sense is if they’ll lose more money elsewhere with a drop in subscribers, so remember that if you’re a wrestling fan who would like to continue watching RAW and SmackDown live every week. Pick up the phone and help yourself.

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