NBCUniversal May Drop WWE Smackdown Live From Its TV Schedule
17 May, 2018, 16:02
WWE has previously stated that their new television deal will be announced sometime between now and September. According to those same sources, the "House that (WWE Champion) A.J. Styles Built" is going to be left up for open bidding by other networks.
WWE and NBCU both declined comment on the negotiations, which are still underway.
The report said that the Raw deal "is expected to close at as much as three times its current value" and would remain on USA Network.
WWE'sSmackdown Live, the House that A.J. Styles (above) Built, may not have a home on USA Network if reports of NBCU's new deal with WWE come to pass. Fox, who in January scored a massive five-year, $550 million per year deal for the rights to the NFL's Thursday Night Football, is being speculated as a home for Smackdown Live. 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.
If WWE increases their revenue for Raw and manages to land a good contract for SmackDown Live, then that will be a major financial boost for the company - not that they need it. The show now garners the sixth-biggest audience among cable originals.
If it does play out this way, it's a dream scenario for WWE. 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.
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