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gpolit.com May 20, 2018


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

18 May 2018, 02:05 | Erma Lawrence

NBCUniversal May Drop WWE Smackdown Live From Its TV Schedule

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

WWE's deal with NBC Universal is expected to end in September 2019, and a decision on where the company goes is expected to occur later this year.

But the relationship of WWE and NBCU will not be completely severed as Monday Night Raw will continue to air on USA Network.

HollywoodReporter.com reports that NBCU is paying almost three times the current rate for Raw, but it will allow Smackdown to enter opening bidding. WWE will seek a new home for Smackdown on the open market, effectively splitting their programming. Meanwhile SmackDown is being shopped around to other networks.

Fox has emerged as one of the potential buyers as the network expressed its interest in acquiring the rights to Raw and SmackDown last March, per Michael McCarthy of Sporting News. Variety reports that in addition to FOX, Facebook and Amazon are top contenders for the rights to Smackdown.

NBCU scored rights to Smackdown - the second-longest-running weekly episodic program in U.S. TV history - in 2010.

Rumors surfaced earlier this year that Fox Sports could be a good candidate to broadcast WWE shows in the near future.



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