WWE's broadcasting contracts for RAW, NXT, and SmackDown are set to expire next year. Presently, RAW and NXT are broadcast on the USA Network, and SmackDown is televised on FOX.
In a major shift, WWE revealed today that SmackDown will be departing from FOX and making its return to the USA Network. The change is scheduled to occur in October 2024 through until 2029.
SmackDown previously had a stint on the USA Network from 2016 until its move to FOX in 2019.
While the financial specifics of the deal were not made public, The Wall Street Journal cited that "People familiar with the pact valued it at roughly $1.4 billion, which is about a 40% increase over the deal WWE had with Fox."
It is believed WWE will not seek to secure broadcasting rights for RAW and NXT. An insider mentioned that the cost to secure SmackDown for the USA Network could be comparable to the combined cost of RAW and NXT's rights.
WWE has an additional partnership with NBCUniversal's Peacock streaming platform, which serves as the exclusive U.S. streaming outlet for WWE content. This five-year arrangement, inked in 2021, was estimated to be worth over $1 billion.
FOX reportedly did not make a robust effort to retain SmackDown.
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