DirecTV Inc. will carry World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc.'s Feb.
17 No Way Out and its March 17 WrestleMania X-8 pay-per-view
events as part of a distribution deal reached between the two companies.
Sources close to the situation said the agreement ends a four-month stalemate
between the two parties, although it's unclear whether the deal -- which also
includes ancillary WWFE PPV events -- extends beyond March.
Neither party would comment on the matter, but the WWF's Web site, wwf.com, posted a note announcing DirecTV's
carriage of the two PPV shows.
Last October, WWFE pulled its PPV events from DirecTV -- which represents 15
percent of the wrestling outfit's PPV business -- after the two parties failed
to reach terms on a new PPV-licensing deal.
While neither side revealed specifics of the dispute, sources said it
revolves around a disagreement over license-fee splits.
On top of its 50 percent split, sources said, DirecTV wants to receive an
additional 7 percent to 10 percent 'middleman' fee from WWFE -- similar to what
cable PPV network In Demand L.L.C. receives -- for distributing the company's
live professional-wrestling and other related WWFE events.