SmackDown Live Possibly Leaving The USA Network Soon


NBCU and WWE declined to comment on the still-ongoing negotiation.

In addition, CBS Sports reported that there is speculation that FOX wasn't just in the business of picking up Smackdown Live by itself, as the network wants to pick up Raw as well for FOX on Broadcast TV, with the Tuesday night show going to Fox Sports 1.

SmackDown Live has been airing on USA Network since July 2016, but it has been under the NBCU umbrella dating back to its Syfy days in 2010.

This is according to a new write-up from The Hollywood Reporter, who state that NBCUniversal are keen to retain Raw in a deal that could close at up to three times the now contract's value, but will let SmackDown go to open bidding.

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WWE's current deal with NBCU expires on September 30, 2019.

The Hollywood Reporter's Matthew Belloni reports that NBC Universal is letting SmackDown Live go up for open bidding. WWE's final decision on the deal is reportedly planned to be announced sometime during the summer.

This won't be the first time both Raw and Smackdown will be on different TV channels as the shows were separated in the early '00s. At the time, US aired five hours of live WWE programming a week; WWE programming now airs two nights a week on USA. Not only do they get to keep their long-standing relationship with NBC/USA, but they would also have the energy of another media conglomerate behind them in Fox. Throughout much of its existence, SmackDown has been seen as secondary to Raw, no matter how much WWE would do to present the two shows as equal.

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