Big Update On The WWE RAW & SmackDown TV Deals



NBCUniversal is expected to pay as much as three times the current deal for Raw, which airs on USA Network.

According to The Hollywood Reporter's Matthew Belloni, we could see RAW and Smackdown on separate networks in the future. It was also on MyNetworkTV and the Syfy Network before moving to United States of America in 2016.

Different networks can have distinct viewerships.

While that sounds like a problem for WWE, it's more of an embarassment of riches.

Over the past few months, it's looked very likely that the WWE would be working with FOX, then with the NBC Upfront presentation earlier this week, it looked more likely that the WWE would stay with NBC Universal.

WWE's deal with USA / NBC expires on September 30, 2019, and they are now in an exclusive negotiating period with each other until the end of this spring.

NBCU took over the rights for SmackDown in 2010, and started airing the show on SyFy before moving it to USA Network in 2016. It is unknown what FOX's plan would be if it only acquires SmackDown as it has a number of other networks that could potentially air the programming, though it could also make a play for WWE developmental brand NXT, which airs a one-hour show Wednesday nights on the WWE Network.

Monday Night Raw has only aired on two networks in its 25-year history.

Smackdown, which still boasts the sixth biggest audience among cable originals (including news programming), enters the open market as sports and sports entertainment (WWE wrestling is staged) programming has been fetching a premium given the live tune-in that comes with it.

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