WWE SmackDown Live Reportedly Heading To A New Network

Esequiel Farfan
May 17, 2018

In addition to Raw and Smackdown, WWE produces Main Event and Superstars for their streaming Network service. As such, WWE would potentially want to tailor SmackDown Live for a new demographic, which in turn could mean Raw and SmackDown Live adopting identities specific to their respective networks.

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

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. It was noted that SmackDown has been speculated to move to FOX.

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

WWE's contract with NBCU is set to expire in September 2019.

NBCUni snagged the rights to SmackDown back in 2010. It marked the first time that the top three shows were broadcast on the same network. It was a match made in heaven with both shows airing every Monday and Tuesday night on the network's USA TV channel. The show began airing that year on Syfy, with corporate sibling US heavily promoting it. SmackDown moved full time to U.S. in January 2016, as the cable network home to Mr. Robot and The Sinner aired all three WWE shows: SmackDown, Raw and Tough Enough. 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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