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WWF Courts Rival WCW

World Wrestling Federation Entertainment has emerged as the front-runner to buy Time Warner's World Championship Wrestling, but several stumbling blocks could allow a second company to rejoin the fray.

Sources close to the situation said WWFE and Time Warner Inc. were negotiating a deal that would give the successful sports-entertainment promoter controlling interest in its main competitor.

WWFE emerged as the leading suitor for the beleaguered WCW after Mandalay Sports, once considered the front-runner, released a statement denying any intention to purchase the wrestling outfit.

Representatives from both Time Warner and WWFE would not comment on the matter.

Sources said the two sides must iron out several wrinkles issues a deal is complete. One of the main sticking points is who would receive outstanding pay-per-view revenue from recent WCW events.

WWFE wants to pocket the estimated $5 million to $8 million in uncollected revenue from WCW's last three to six PPV events, sources said. Time Warner wants to keep all WCW revenue due until after the deal is completed.

If a deal between WWF and WCW cannot be completed, sources said former WCW head Eric Bischoff and a number of financial backers-which could still include Mandalay Sports-could step in and complete a deal.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.