WWE Raw Likely To Stay On USA Network

WWE 'Smackdown' Up for Grabs as NBCUniversal Moves to Pin Down 'Raw'

NBCUniversal May Drop WWE Smackdown Live From Its TV Schedule

WWE's television contract is expiring in 2019 with the USA Network. The sports entertainment company held numerous same meetings before their last TV negotiations a few years ago. WWE has talked with the USA Network, FOX, Disney, CBS, Amazon, and YouTube. Fox has been speculated as a home for Smackdown, sources say.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that WWE SmackDown is now being shopped around to various networks as NBCUniversal has declined to renew the deal for the USA Network. Michael McCarthy of Sporting News had previously reported that if the deal went through, RAW would be featured on FOX, while Smackdown would be aired on FOX Sports (FS1).

This is mainly because NBCUniversal wants to only keep Raw which will be three times more expensive than the current deal.




Interesting tidbit among all the TV news today: NBCU is letting WWE SMACKDOWN go to open bidding. At the time, the company is said to have paid $30 million for rights to the franchise.

SmackDown Live has aired on USA Network since July 2016, and it has been under the NBCUniversal umbrella dating back to 2010, when it was on Syfy. WWE programming is an obvious fit for the "new Fox" focused on sports and live events and SmackDown could anchor Fox programming on Tuesday nights. Throughout much of its existence, SmackDown has been seen as secondary to Raw, no matter how much WWE would do to present the two shows as equal.

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