ibusinesslines.com August 18, 2018

NBCUniversal May Drop WWE Smackdown Live From Its TV Schedule

17 May 2018, 06:41 | Myron Mathis



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. They're keeping RAW but the deal is so big (3x current value, I'm told) that they're not re-signing both.

The last time WWE negotiated a new rights deal in 2014, the company made a decision to re-sign with NBC Universal to continue airing Raw and SmackDown on USA Network and SyFy respectively. At the time, U.S. aired five hours of live WWE programming a week; WWE programming now airs two nights a week on USA. 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.

Raw debuted on USA Network on January 11, 1993, and ran weekly until leaving in September 2000 for TNN, which later became Spike TV.

The belief was that WWE could end up on FOX and if that did happen then Monday Night Raw would go to FOX while SmackDown Live would go to FOX Sports 1. It debuted on the broadcast television network UPN in 1999, before moving to the CW Network in 2006.

Still, broadcasters have questioned whether there is a ceiling for sports rights.

Stay tuned to Sportskeeda for any future details.

For this latest cycle, early reports indicate that WWE's outlook could be very, very different.

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

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