The expiration of WWE's programming rights for RAW, NXT, and SmackDown is approaching next year. WWE has successfully negotiated contracts for two out of these three shows.
Currently, RAW and NXT are broadcasted on the USA Network, and SmackDown airs on FOX, with this arrangement lasting until fall 2024. WWE has decided to move SmackDown from FOX, finalizing a five-year agreement to bring it back to the USA Network. Additionally, NXT will transition to the CW Network.
This broadcasting shift for all shows is set to occur in October 2024. Under this new deal, SmackDown will remain on the USA Network until 2029. There's speculation that RAW might leave the USA Network due to the high cost of acquiring SmackDown’s rights. However, the longstanding relationship between the two entities leaves room for negotiation if a favorable deal is presented.
Recently, Triple H and WWE President Nick Khan were in Los Angeles discussing the media rights for Raw, which is why Triple H was absent from Monday night's Raw.
Dave Meltzer, in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, mentioned that WWE is aiming for an annual revenue of $400 million from these deals, though analysts predict a figure closer to $387 million.
Meltzer noted, “During most of the negotiation period, FX was seen as the frontrunner, with Netflix, USA, WBD, and Amazon Prime also in the mix.”
The acquisition of RAW’s rights would significantly impact Warner Bros. Discovery, which currently airs AEW shows. This is particularly notable as AEW is also due to renegotiate its TV deal next year.
Meltzer reported, “The story from WBD recently is that Nick Khan approached them last October with a proposal, but it was declined.”
Sources within WBD have recently downplayed the likelihood of TBS or TNT as potential broadcasters for Raw, while WWE insiders have always considered WBD a distant possibility. This skepticism is partly due to the belief that WBD has a stake in AEW.
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