WWE 'Smackdown' Up for Grabs as NBCUniversal Moves to Pin Down 'Raw'

Michael McCarthy of Sporting News had previously reported that if the deal went through, RAW would be featured on FOX, while Smackdown would be aired on FOX Sports (FS1).

However, NBCU is reportedly focused on keeping Raw, and WWE is expected to receive three times its current value for the show.

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.

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

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 had paid $30 million for the SmackDown franchise in 2010. SmackDown started airing live in May 2016, increasing the value for advertising during the wrestling show. FOX is said to be among the networks interested in WWE programming so the show could land there. The show began airing that year on Syfy, with corporate sibling United States of America 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.

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".

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