NBCUniversal is keeping WWE Raw, Smackdown Live moving to another network

NBCUniversal is keeping WWE Raw, Smackdown Live moving to another network

Belloni also said that the deal to keep Raw was for 3-times their current value so WWE management must be thrilled with that.

According to Matthew Beloni, Editorial Director of The Hollywood Reporter, Raw would be remaining on the USA Network and getting as much as three times its current rate from the cable network, but NBC intends to let SmackDown Live go.

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.

Smackdown Live is not part of the deal and that show will go to open bidding, meaning that it will likely be picked up by another network.

Especially after the brand extension in 2016, it wouldn't hurt to create more separation between WWE's two biggest weekly programs.

WWE and NBCU both declined comment on the negotiations, which are still underway.

NBCU took over the rights for SmackDown in 2010, and started airing the show on SyFy before moving it to USA Network in 2016.

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.

The Fox connection has been in the conversation for months now with there even being rumor and innuendo that Fox could try to buy WWE outright.

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