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WWE Jumps on Rumored New Television Deal

Updated from 4:00 p.m. to include additional information about previous television deals and closing stock price.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) shares jumped on a rumor the company may announce its new television deal tomorrow, with NBC's Upfront presentation, scheduled to take place tomorrow.

First reported in The Wrestling Observer, WWE is expected to announced it has renewed its longstanding television deal with NBC to bring its popular television shows Raw and Smackdown back to NBC properties. Currently, Raw is televised live on the USA Network, while Smackdown is taped on SyFy on Tuesday, and then airs on Friday.

According to a source close to the situation, there is "no update" on the television deal, after the current deal with NBC saw its exclusive negotiating window expire in February. The current deal is set to expire later this year.

However, it should be noted WWE wrestlers, Nikki and Brie Bella, known as the Bella Twins, are at NBC Upfront.

On the company's first-quarter earnings call, CEO Vince McMahon said, the company would be "announcing in several weeks what we're doing domestically as we complete negotiations." McMahon also noted the company was in the middle of negotiations with its television provider in India.

WWE, based in Stamford, CT., has recently extended some of its other television negotiation contracts. In January, shares of the publicly traded entertainment company soared on news it had re-upped its deal with British cable-TV provider BSkyB for significantly more money than the previous deal.

Shares of WWE closed the session higher, gaining 5.2% to $19.35, bucking the trend of the broader markets, as the S&P 500 lost 0.47% to close at 1,888.53.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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