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Big Update On The WWE RAW & SmackDown TV Deals

17 May 2018

Sporting News' Michael McCarthy reported in March that Fox was looking to acquire the rights for Raw and SmackDown Live, with Raw potentially airing on network television and SmackDown Live going to FS1.

WWE's current NBCU deal generated $180 million for the 2017 year, but that also included rights to Smackdown Live.

THR reports that NBCUniversal is focusing on renewing Raw and as a result, Smackdown is being shopped to various networks.

While splitting up Raw and SmackDown Live would disrupt the continuity WWE has enjoyed with having both on USA Network, a move could be beneficial.

As for Smackdown, WWE is shopping it around to other networks after NBCU declined to renew the deal for the show.

While that sounds like a problem for WWE, it's more of an embarassment of riches. NBCU and WWE declined to comment on the still-ongoing negotiation. At the time, the company is said to have paid $30 million for rights to the franchise. It marked the first time that the top three shows were broadcast on the same network. It first aired on SyFy before moving to U.S. in 2016. At the time, US aired five hours of live WWE programming a week; WWE programming now airs two nights a week on USA. The show now garners the sixth-biggest audience among cable originals.

The main thing WWE needs to agree on is that Smackdown Live needs to air preferably on Tuesday nights in order for the show to stay being "live". FOX is said to be among the networks interested in WWE programming so the show could land there.

Big Update On The WWE RAW & SmackDown TV Deals